Treatment Alternatives To Brain Cancer Surgery

By Alley Benton
Updated December 9, 2016
Read our Disclaimer

Treatment Alternatives To Brain Cancer SurgeryIf you have been diagnosed with brain cancer, then you will have a tumor close to, or inside of your brain. This tumor is a mass of abnormal cells that can cause significant damage, and may even lead to death, particularly without the appropriate treatment.

Importantly, many different types of brain tumors exist, and some are noncancerous, whereas others are malignant. These tumors can either begin in your brain or they may have come from other parts of your body. Either way, the best way to improve your chances of survival is to seek out the right kind of treatment.

Surgery is often the first solution that doctors present, particularly if the tumor is relatively small and easy to remove from the surrounding brain tissue. However, if the tumor is located in a place that makes operation impossible, you may need to consider other treatment alternatives to brain cancer surgery. Of course, surgery may still be used to remove as much of the tumor as possible.

Radiation Therapy:

One option for people considering treatment alternatives to brain cancer surgery, is radiation therapy. This solution uses high-energy beams to kill off tumor cells. External radiation can either focus on a single area of your brain, which is generally the space in which a tumor is located, or it can be applied en masse to your entire brain. Whole brain radiation is often the solution used to treat cancer that has spread into the brain from other areas within the body.

The side effects of radiation therapy will depend on the dosage of your radiation and the type of radiation you receive. Common issues include headaches, fatigue, and scalp irritation.


Stereotactic radiosurgery isn't technically a traditional form of surgery. As such, it is still seen as an option for treatment alternatives to brain cancer surgery. This solution uses various beams of radiation to offer a highly-focused form of treatment, which is capable of killing cancer cells in a limited area. Each radiation beam may not be particularly powerful, but when they combine they deliver a huge dose of radiation to kill off cancer cells.


Chemotherapy is regularly used in various types of cancers in an effort to kill tumor cells. The drugs for chemotherapy can either be injected intravenously or taken orally in pill form. The drug used most often for brain tumors in chemotherapy is known as temozolomide, and this can be consumed as a pill.

Targeted Drug Therapy:

Finally, targeted treatments using approved drugs generally work by drawing focus to specific areas of abnormalities within the cancerous cells in the brain. By working to block out these abnormalities, targeted drug therapies can prompt the death of cancerous cells. One form of targeted drug therapy that can be used to treat glioblastoma, which is a type of brain cancer, is known as bevacizumab. When this drug is given through the vein, it stops the development of new blood vessels, which reduces blood supply to the tumor and kills the cells.

The type of drug you are given and the side effects you experience will depend on the specifics of your condition.

* Disclaimer:
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.