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FAQ Brain Tumors > Brain tumors > I have been told that I have a brain tumor, what should I do next?

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A new diagnosis of a brain tumor can be frightening and confusing. There are many different types of brain tumors ranging from the benign to the malignant, and there are many different treatments for these different types of tumors. It is important to gather information about different treatment options and different strategies for personalized care of a person's brain tumor. This can be done by obtaining consultation a cancer center which specializes in the treatment of brain tumors.

Typically, one of the first, and most important things to do in terms of determining the proper course of treatment and therapy over time is to obtain some of the tumor tissue for diagnosis at the pathological level. This can typically be done of one of 2 ways. 1st, a person may have a biopsy which is a simple sampling of the tumor tissue through a small hole placed in the cranium. This is often a short procedure, requiring only a one or 2 day stay in the hospital. A specialized pathologist who studies and is knowledgeable in the area of brain tumors known as a neuropathologist will evaluate the tumor and render a diagnosis.

Tissue can also be obtained at the time of surgery to remove a tumor. This is frequently done as the 1st surgical procedure after the diagnosis of a brain tumor. The advantage of resecting a tumor is that removal of a bulk of the tumor can facilitate reduced symptoms in a patient and also improve outcomes in many types of tumors. In addition, the tumor that is removed can also be studied closely to obtain a pathological diagnosis and can be made available to assess the patient's eligibility in certain clinical trials and other types of therapies which require tumor tissue to be processed.

Last updated on October 8, 2012 by Webmaster @ Neurosurgery