Brain cancer originates from a mass of cells that formulate in the brain, which is identified as a brain tumor. These can either be benign tumors or cancerous tumors and based on their grade, can be more aggressive or less. The process of diagnosing a patient with brain cancer includes evaluating signs and symptoms, performing various tests, and determining the best conventional or alternative brain cancer treatments for you. Keep reading to find out where to start.

Identifying the Signs and Symptoms

There are typically specific signs and symptoms that an individual may possess to indicate they may have a brain tumor. The common symptoms include headaches, intracranial pressure, nausea, change in mood or behavior, difficulty walking, impaired vision, inability to functionally speak, or a sudden onset of fever. Once these brain cancer symptoms arise, the patient should seek evaluation by their doctor to investigate for any abnormal cells to confirm if they have brain cancer.

Diagnosis Tests

Once the doctor evaluates a patient for these signs of brain cancer, they will perform a series of tests. These tests will determine whether there is indeed a malignant tumor present in the brain, its location, and the seriousness of the brain tumor as defined by its grading.

CT Scans and MRIs

The more common imaging tests that are conducted to detect brain cancer include a CT scan or MRI. Additional tests are usually performed to test for brain cancer such as laboratory tests that evaluate the blood, liver, and electrolytes level.1

Through these tests that scan for brain cancer, the severity of a brain tumor may then be evaluated. An individual will be referred to a neurosurgeon who would recommend the best options for surgery. A radiation oncologist may also be recommended for radiation therapy. 

Biopsy

To confirm that an individual possesses cancer, the tumor would require a specific diagnosis of tissue through a biopsy, in which a tiny sample of the tumor is taken out in order to determine the tumor type and grade.1

A biopsy is usually conducted through a surgery referred to as a craniotomy. This is a procedure in which the skull is opened so as to remove the whole tumor from the affected brain tissue. The biopsy is evaluated of the tumor. If a surgeon isn’t able to remove the entire malignant tumor, then a portion of the tumor will be attempted to be removed. In some instances, a biopsy can be conducted without the opening of the skull, which is through a technique called stereotaxis. Through a CT or MRI scan, the tumor’s exact location will be determined. A small hole will then be pursued into the skull along with a needle that is guided into the hole of the tumor. A needle then collects the biopsy and removes it. This process does not treat the tumor and is saved for instances where the tumor can’t be accessed. The biopsy is then evaluated by a pathologist beneath a microscope and from then, the grade of the tumor will be decided.1

A tumor’s grade is referred to its growth rate and level of aggressiveness. Upon determining the tumor’s growth rate, the doctor will evaluate what the next procedure options may be.1

Brain Cancer Diagnosis, What’s Next?

Upon the diagnosis of brain cancer, the neurosurgeon and team of physicians caring for the patient will advise upon options for tumor removal. Most often, these options will result in surgery. There are situations in which patients are diagnosed with inoperable brain tumors, due to the location of the tumor in the brain. In these circumstances, the doctors may recommend alternative cancer treatments that would not require surgery. However, it’s possible that an individual may possess a brain tumor that is benign, or noncancerous. There are also some brain tumors that may not show any symptoms, such as the tumors of the pituitary glands. Some symptoms of brain cancer may not be specific to the brain tumor but caused by other reasons as well. Regardless of the situation, it is always important to seek treatment from a healthcare professional in the diagnosis and treatment of brain cancer.

Seeking Alternative Treatments

At Immunity Therapy Center, patients can feel supported through their brain cancer diagnosis. A team of dedicated professionals is available to provide for the needs of cancer patients Immunity Therapy Center offers various alternatives and ways to treat brain cancer naturally in place of traditional chemotherapy and radiation therapy. So, if you have an inoperable brain tumor, your options aren’t limited. Every patient’s cancer is unique and specific to them; therefore, Immunity Therapy Center ensures a plan that fits every individual best. The cancer treatment plans take into consideration various factors such as what the current condition of the brain cancer may be, the initial diagnosis, any previous cancer treatments, the patient’s medical history, and the patient’s current state of mental and physical health. With a team of professionals and Dr. Bautista, you can always count on someone to explain the treatment options throughout any of the brain cancer stages. Here at Immunity Therapy Center, we aim to establish a supportive environment for as you battle your brain cancer. Through holistic care and integrative therapies, we work to help your immune system fight the cancer. Contact us today if you or a loved one have been diagnosed with brain cancer.

References:

  1. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/brain-spinal-cord-tumors-adults/detection-diagnosis-staging/how-diagnosed.html
February 18, 2020