Told You Have a Brain Tumor? Crucial Facts & How to Take Action


The last thing anyone wants to hear is that there is something wrong. This is especially true when it comes to health issues. A brain tumor is one of those hard-to-hear things and, possibly, one of the scariest. However, it doesn’t have to be if you are armed with the facts and know what to do.

Tumor Grades and Types

The first thing you need to know are the brain tumor grades and types. Once you are aware of these, it will be easier to stay optimistic about the results you get from further testing. A Grade I tumor is benign while Grades II, III, and IV are malignant but get progressively more serious. Each diagnosis will affect treatment. There are also many different types of brain tumors. There are Gliomas, Astrocytoma’s, Glioblastomas (GBMs), and Oligodendroglia’s, just to name but a few.

Testing

When a brain tumor is suspected, it is important to determine the type and grade so that it can be treated in the best way possible. Depending on the doctor, your insurance, as well as the type of tumor suspected, you may undergo an MRI, a CT scan, or both. You may have dye used in one or both scans to make it easier to spot any abnormalities. The scan images will be reviewed by a radiologist, your neurologist, and an oncologist to determine the type and grade.

Causes of a Brain Tumor

No specific causes have been determined when it comes to brain tumors. While there have been some red flags found when it comes to certain factors that seemingly arise more often than others, none stand out as specific causes. Age and family history show up quite often but do with many diseases, especially tumors of any type. However, ionizing radiation, such as from high dose x-rays like radiation therapy, has been shown to increase risk in some patients. We do know that cell phone use does not seem to increase risk.

Possible Treatments

The treatment for a brain tumor depends on many factors. Your neurosurgeon will look at the size and location, the malignancy, as well as the type. Factoring in all of this information, a neurosurgeon, like those at Billings Clinic, will come up with the best possible solution and discuss it will you so you are comfortable with proceeding with treatment.

It is important to know the facts when faced with a brain tumor diagnosis. However, you must also have the support from family and friends as well as a good team of doctors. By taking care of yourself completely, you can stay well physically, mentally, and emotionally to increase your quality of life while undergoing treatment.