and adults with brain tumours should be seen at a
multi-disciplinary medical centre, staffed
with the following: Neurosurgeon,
and a Neuro-Psychologist.
The treatment and prognosis depends on the
type, grade, and location of the tumour. Type
and location are explained on the previous web pages. The grade of the tumour
indicates the degree of malignancy: its tendency to spread, its growth
rate, and its similarity to normal cells when viewed under a microscope. Tumours
with distinct borders are considered "grade I", are sometimes
referred to as benign or mildly malignant. These tumours
either do not grow or grow very slowly. Infiltrating tumours
are those that tend to grow into surrounding tissue. Of the infiltrating tumours,
the terms low-grade, mid-grade, and high-grade are frequently used. A
"high grade" tumour is considered
highly malignant. However, the exact system used to grade tumours
varies with each specific family of tumours.
are treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Depending on the
type of tumour and the promptness of diagnosis,
the 5 year survival rate is 40-80%.
The purpose of surgery is to remove as much of the tumour
as possible, to establish an exact diagnosis, to determine the extent of
the tumour, and sometimes to provide access for
other treatments, such as implants or radiation. Some tumours
are inaccessible to the neurosurgeon.
Conventional radiation therapy uses external beams of radiation aimed at
the tumour, a therapy which is given over a
period of several weeks. Other types of radiation are also available.
Because the developing brain of a child is so very sensitive to radiation
therapy, it is deliberately limited or delayed until the child has grown
older and the brain has sufficiently matured.
Chemotherapy is required for the more aggressive or higher grade tumours.
Many drugs will kill brain cells, but it is difficult to predict which tumours
will respond to which chemotherapy agents. Therefore, treatment often
consists of a combination of drugs. Certain
classes of drugs will not pass the blood-brain barrier.
Quite often childhood tumours block the
fluid spaces of the brain, creating pressure in the brain.
In shunting, a thin Silastic tube (the shunt)
is placed into the fluid spaces of the brain, passed under the skin into
the child's tummy where the fluid is absorbed.
Australian Brain Tumour Statistics
This website provides the
2003 Australian statistics on incidence, survival rates and
mortality associated with Brain Tumours occurring in Australia.
MODEL OF CARE
WA has a Model of Care that guides how we care for people with brain
GLIOLAN IN AUSTRALIA FOR NEUROSURGERY ON
BRAIN TUMOUR PATIENTS
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