The diagnosis of a brain tumor can be a terrifying one. However the brain tumor prognosis and survival rates depend upon several factors such as malignancy or benignant, the progression or staging of the tumor, age of the sufferer and so on.
Importance of malignancy and benignity in brain tumor prognosis
The prognosis with a malignant tumor is poorer than benign tumors, because malignant tumors are aggressive, grow rapidly and invade neighboring tissue, and probably spread. A malignant brain tumor is also invasive and the shape and size of the cancer cells are different. A malignant brain tumor is therefore frequently life threatening.
Benign tumors are non cancerous and non-aggressive and they don’t invade tissue around, unlike malignant tumors. However they can still be dangerous when they are located in the brain, because they may press upon the brain and cause problems.
Benign tumors can, in cases turn malignant as well.
Brain tumor prognosis by tumor grade
The tumor grade is determined based on the way that it looks under a microscope – how abnormal is it, and how fast growing the tumor tissue is. It is graded from low to high – grade I being the lowest and the best prognosis with IV being the highest and the poorest prognosis.
Secondary or primary tumors
Primary tumors are those that arise in the brain, whereas secondary brain tumors are those that arise out of a cancer that is located in another part of the body and which metastasizes or spreads to the brain and these can also impact brain tumor prognosis. In secondary tumors, the cancer elsewhere enters the blood circulatory system or the lymphatic system and then progresses to other parts of the body such as the brain and other locations as well.
Breast cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer, malignant melanoma and colon cancer are most commonly responsible for secondary brain tumors. Generally speaking primary tumors are far more common than primary brain tumors. Secondary brain tumors can be common among those who are in their final stages of an incurable metastasized cancer.
The age and functional status of the patient also determines the brain tumor prognosis. The location of the tumor, the possibility of removing it successfully by surgical intervention will determine the chance and extent of survival that the tumor sufferer has.
Treatment for brain tumors
Surgery to remove the tumor physically from the brain after opening the skull is the most common method of treating brain tumor. Radiation is another therapy that is used for brain tumors and is usually used after surgical removal of the tumor to kill any remaining cancer cells. Chemotherapy is also sometimes used as part of the treatment, and among adults this follows surgery and subsequent radiation.
The treatment can be determined based on the brain tumor prognosis of the patient, the location of the tumor, the type of tumor and the stage of the cancer. The person’s age is also a determining factor, since children with brain tumor are more likely to undergo chemotherapy than adults. So the treatment option that each patient has depends upon the individual situation.