treatment

Treatment for acoustic neuroma – Basic Approach

When acoustic neuroma is in the early stages, some doctors choose to just observe it but keep a close observation on it. Acoustic neuroma illness tends to grow at a very slow rate and may take quite some time before any symptoms are visible. The disadvantages of the acoustic neuroma treatments is that they may have many side effects and complications hence there are risks involved.

The major acoustic neuroma treatments include:

  • Radiotherapy
  • Radio-surgery (stereotactic)
  • Surgery

Treatment method chosen will be determined by:

  • The position and size of the acoustic neuroma tumor
  • Your health condition
  • Age
  • The results obtained from the scans and tests carried out help to determine which treatment option that is best for you

Surgery

A brain surgeon or a neurosurgeon removes the acoustic neuroma tumor by operating on it. The determining factors are mainly the location of the tumor on the vestibulocochlear-nerve or the tumor size in the brain. One is given an aesthetic before undergoing surgery. This is the most common way of treating and removing the acoustic neuroma tumors. Approximately 95 inn a 100 acoustic neuroma tumors can be completely removed.

The reason as to why the remaining 5 cases in 100 may not be completely removed is that technically, it is pretty hard to get rid of the whole tumor or the risk of the surgery resulting in extra damage to the brain nerves could be too high. In cases where some acoustic neuroma tumor remains behind, it can be comfortably treated by radiotherapy. One normally recovers from surgery in 1½-3 months. For tumors that were totally removed, no more treatment is needed.

Radiotherapy

Radiotherapy treatment is mostly used to treat both the malignant and benign tumors. A cancer specialist otherwise known as an oncologist offers this type of treatment. A tumor may be totally destroyed or shrink using the radiotherapy treatment. High beams of energy are used in the radiations which are properly directed to the tumor. Radiotherapy is used mostly in treating cancer and more common in brain tumors.

The MRI scans are used in planning the radiotherapy treatments. This helps the oncologist to decide the best direction to focus the beams on the brain tumor without damaging tissues that are healthy. This helps to avoid any complications or damage. There are many radiotherapy sessions in the course of treatment

There are some new kinds of radiotherapy that are being employed to treat brain tumors.

Stereotactic radiotherapy

There is the type known as Cyber knife radiotherapy where the treatment is provided using a machine for radiotherapy that is attached to a robot arm. X-rays are taken constantly taken when the treatment is ongoing. This ensures that incase there is even the smallest movement; the beams are focused back to the target. This is also referred to as stereotactic radiotherapy.

A single radiation dose is directed very precisely to the specific area in the brain which is affected by the tumor. Stereotactic simply refers to finding a certain point by the use of the 3D co-ordinates.

The advantage of this treatment method is that it prevents further tumor growth and makes it shrink but does not destroy or remove it. It is very suitable for tiny tumors.

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