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Brain Cancer Health Center

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Adult Brain Tumors Treatment (PDQ®): Treatment - Patient Information [NCI] - General Information About Adult Brain Tumors


Sometimes a biopsy or surgery cannot be done.

For some tumors, a biopsy or surgery cannot be done safely because of where the tumor formed in the brain or spinal cord. These tumors are diagnosed and treated based on the results of imaging tests and other procedures.

Sometimes the results of imaging tests and other procedures show that the tumor is very likely to be benign and a biopsy is not done.

Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.

The prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options for primary brain and spinal cord tumors depend on the following:

  • The type and grade of the tumor.
  • Where the tumor is in the brain or spinal cord.
  • Whether the tumor can be removed by surgery.
  • Whether cancer cells remain after surgery.
  • Whether there are certain changes in the chromosomes.
  • Whether the cancer has just been diagnosed or has recurred (come back).
  • The patient's general health.

The prognosis and treatment options for metastatic brain and spinal cord tumors depend on the following:

  • Whether there are more than two tumors in the brain or spinal cord.
  • Where the tumor is in the brain or spinal cord.
  • How well the tumor responds to treatment.
  • Whether the primary tumor continues to grow or spread.

This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

WebMD Public Information from the National Cancer Institute

Last Updated: 8/, 015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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