Is a tumor removable?

Brain tumors: therapy

If possible, brain tumors are treated surgically. The neurosurgeon tries to remove the tumor as completely as possible and at the same time to damage healthy tissue as little as possible. If the tumor has grown into important regions of the brain, it can often only partially or not at all be removed. Surgical removal is not possible even if the tumor is close to vital structures. In order to protect healthy tissue as much as possible and to prevent damage or in the case of inoperable tumors, the latest surgical methods are used. With the help of so-called stereotactic brain surgery, tumor cells can be destroyed with millimeter precision and healthy brain tissue can be spared as much as possible. These processes are supported by computer-aided navigation systems and various imaging processes such as MRT and CT. This technique is also used in radiation therapy (stereotactic radiation) and surgery (e.g. gamma knife, cyber knife).

Before an operation, further imaging measures can be used after MRI / CT to better plan the procedure, e.g. SPECT, PET or magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS). If there is increased intracranial pressure, drugs are often given first to reduce swelling in the brain tissue. If the tumor has prevented the cerebrospinal fluid (liquor) from flowing out, a so-called shunt can be placed in an operation. This is a thin tube that is inserted into the brain and drains the cerebral fluid into the patient's abdominal cavity, for example. This reduces the increased intracranial pressure. If those affected suffer from seizures, medication can be given to prevent further convulsions (anti-epileptic drugs).

For more information, see Brain Tumors: Classification and Shapes.