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Treatments for Brain Tumors

The goal of treatment is to remove most or all of the tumor. Doing so may preserve brain function. This may also help to keep tumors from spreading or coming back. The treatment plan often uses more than one method. This is based on the type of tumor, patient's age, general health, and outlook. Comfort measures are given to those in later stages.

If the tumor is not causing symptoms, the doctor may advise watchful waiting. This means you and the doctor will monitor the tumor for growth or appearance of symptoms.

The healthcare team will be made up of doctors, surgeons, nurses, and pharmacists. It’s important to stay in touch with your team, follow the course of treatment, and go to appointments to get the best outcomes.

Brain tumor treatment includes:

Treatments for many cancers are always changing. Some have yet to be found. As a result, clinical trials exist around the world. You may wish to ask your doctor if you should enlist in a clinical trial. You can find out about them at the US National Institutes of Health website.


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Meningioma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: Updated January 19, 2017. Accessed August 10, 2018.

Overview of intracranial tumors. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: Updated June 2018. Accessed August 10, 2018.

Treating brain and spinal cord tumors in adults. American Cancer Society website. Available at: Updated November 8, 2017. Accessed August 10, 2018.

Treatment option overview. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: Updated July 5, 2018. Accessed August 10, 2018.

Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP