If the tumour is surgically accessible, an attempt to remove the tumour mass visible on the MRI scan is made. Although doing so is not curative, several clinical studies suggest that the degree of removal of tumour can affect the duration of survival. In some cases, tumour may be located very close to adjacent important brain centers responsible for control of movement or speech. Our neurosurgeons have the skill to combine advanced diagnostic imaging techniques pre-operatively plus intra-operative mapping techniques to ensure maximal safe removal of the brain tumour.
A powerful 3-T MRI scanner that is capable of non-invasively speech and motor areas of the brain. This information can be transferred to the intra-operative neuronavigational system used by the surgeon to determine the exact corresponding location on the patient's brain while performing the surgery.
Once the diagnosis is confirmed, higher grade astrocytomas usually undergo radiation therapy. Radiation can be administered to the whole brain or it can be relatively focused to a region of the brain.
The purpose of radiotherapy is to kill a percentage of tumour cells and slow down the rate of growth of the tumour. This treatment is performed and planned by specialist doctors called therapeutic radiologists.
Low grade tumours that are treated with radiotherapy after surgery may help with a cure but as for high grade tumours, the role of radiotherapy is to control the growth of tumour and help prolong survival. Radiotherapy is given in small daily doses over a period of 4 to 6 weeks. Each session lasts only about 15 minutes and it is a painless procedure like taking an x-ray. The common side effects of radiation therapy include hair loss, dizziness, generalised weakness and drowsiness. Serious side effects are rare. An MRI is usually obtained about 2 to 4 weeks after the end of radiation therapy in order to judge the effect of treatment.
Chemotherapy is a specialised treatment involving administration of very strong medical agents that are able to destroy and kill some tumour cells. This treatment is decided by the oncologists (cancer specialist). Treatment is usually given depending on the grade of the tumour. The treatment may be given simultaneously together with radiotherapy or at a later date if the tumour recurs and has failed treatment with radiotherapy. The treatment is given at specific intervals over a period of time. There are often many potential side effects depending on the types of agents given and these will be discussed with you by the oncologists before treatment commences.
Subscribe to our mailing list to get the updates to your inbox