A Comprehensive Guide to Understanding Brain Cancer

Brain cancer is a severe illness that can impact anyone, irrespective of age, gender, or way of life. It develops when abnormal cells multiply uncontrollably in your brain, forming a tumor that can interfere with normal brain function. Symptoms may include seizures, headaches, difficulty with speech or movement, and changes in vision or hearing. Although brain cancer Tempe can be aggressive and challenging to treat, Arizona Center for Cancer Care offers several treatments, including surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, and targeted therapy. Early detection and comprehensive treatment increase your chances of successfully managing your brain cancer and improving your quality of life.

Symptoms of brain cancer

Brain cancer can either start in your brain or can develop when cancerous cells from other areas of your body spread to the brain. The symptoms can vary depending on the tumor’s location, size, and type. However, you may experience persistent headaches that do not respond to pain medication, seizures, changes in vision, hearing or speech difficulties, memory loss, confusion, and difficulty with balance and coordination. Other symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness on one side of the body. Sometimes, a brain tumor may not cause noticeable symptoms until it has grown significantly. As the tumor grows, it can cause increased pressure inside your skull, leading to brain swelling, changes in personality or behavior, and even loss of consciousness.

Diagnostic techniques for brain cancer

During your initial Arizona Center for Cancer Care appointment, your doctor may discuss your symptoms and conduct a thorough evaluation. They may also review your medical history and discuss any family history of cancer. Your evaluation may involve a physical exam to check for signs of neurological problems, such as weakness, coordination difficulties, and changes in sensation. If your doctor suspects brain cancer, they may suggest imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan to obtain detailed images of your brain and any abnormalities present. They may also order a biopsy, which involves removing a small tissue sample from the tumor for examination under a microscope to determine the type of cancer.

Available treatments

Your treatment options depend on the type of cancer, size and location, age, and overall health. Your treatment plan may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. The Arizona Center for Cancer Care team may recommend surgery as the first option, especially if your tumor is easily accessible and can be safely removed without damaging surrounding brain tissue. Radiation therapy employs powerful radiation to eliminate cancerous cells, whereas chemotherapy employs medications. The team may recommend chemotherapy for cancers that have spread to other body parts.

Targeted therapy and immunotherapy are more recent treatment options, specifically targeting cancer cells while minimizing damage to healthy cells. These treatments aim to maximize the chances of successful treatment while minimizing any potential side effects. Treatment for brain cancer can be complex, which makes it crucial to work closely with your provider to understand your options and make informed decisions about your care.

Call the Arizona Center for Cancer Care office or book an appointment online for a consultation or brain cancer diagnosis.