Brain Cancer Prognosis

Introduction

Brain cancer prognosis is dependent upon several factors including;

• The type of the tumor patient has
• Where the tumor is located
• What is the current size
• Has it spread to other areas of the brain
• Is the tumor primary or secondary (metastatic brain cancer) etc

Prognosis for some common brain tumors

Meningioma:

If the tumor is benign and also slowly growing like a meningioma the prognosis is excellent. If it is in a favorable area and accessible then around 80 to 85% them are curable by surgery. If stereotactic radio-surgery is employed then the growth of the meningioma can be halted in around 80 percent of cases.

However if the tumor size is very big at the time of presentation, it is in a difficult to access or inaccessible area then these percentage numbers come down considerably.

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM):

This is the most frequent cancer in the brain in the adult population and it is the most malignant (most aggressive) as well. The median survival after the diagnosis without any treatment is a mere three to six months. However with chemo and radio therapy one to few years survival is common.

PCNSL (Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma)

This is another aggressive tumor in the brain. It mostly occurs in the setting of immunosuppression like AIDS.

Without any treatment the media survival rate is similar to GBM patients i.e. only few months. Radiotherapy and chemotherapy with methotrxate can improve survival rate several months to few years. Radiotherapy alone confers a median survival rate up to about 18 months and with chemotherapy it is around 48 months.

Metastatic brain cancer:

This diagnosis indicates a very poor prognosis with majority of the patients succumbing to the cancer in less than a year. Chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy prolongs the survival only marginally.

Obviously tumors that are less aggressive have better prognosis whereas more aggressive brain tumors like GBM, PCNSL, and metastatic brain cancer etc have less good prognosis. There are lots of research activities going on and some promising newer treatment options are emerging so the hopes for the brain cancer patients is certainly improving.

Brain Cancer Prognosis to Neurology Articles

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