The following treatments may be used for glioma:
This is often the preferred first treatment for glioblastoma. If the tumor can be removed without risking nervous system damage, your doctor may remove a part of your skull and remove as much of the tumor as possible. If the tumor is located within areas that are essential for important brain function, your doctor may just take a small piece of the tumor (biopsy). The goal of the surgery is to remove as many tumor cells as possible and to provide tissue for the pathologists to analyze. The results of that analysis will determine future treatments and overall prognosis. Removing the tumor may also improve your symptoms.
In rare cases, if the tumor is near a language or movement area, your doctor may have you awake for part of the surgery to monitor for brain function while the tumor is removed. This is surprisingly painless (the brain does not feel pain) and most patients do not remember it afterwards.
This can be used to destroy any tumor cells that remain after surgery. In some cases glioma can’t be operated on. This means that it can’t be removed without risking brain damage. If this is the case, then radiation can also be used to treat the tumor and ease your symptoms.
This treatment uses medicines that stop the growth of abnormal cells. Chemo medicines can be given by mouth (oral), through an IV (intravenous line), applied in the tumor, or placed at the site of your tumor through a shunt.
Glioblastomas can be hard to treat. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with a glioblastoma, you may want to ask your doctor if there are clinical trials of newer treatments that you should consider.
Talk with your healthcare providers about your treatment options. Make a list of questions. Think about the benefits and possible side effects of each option. Discuss your concerns with your healthcare provider before making a decision. You may want to consider getting a second opinion, if there is time. A second opinion can give you peace of mind about your treatment decision.