Neuro Oncologist Techniques For Treating Nerve Cancer
Neuro oncologist is a specialist title given to a cancer surgeon who treats tumors of the brain and of the nervous system, which are among the most dangerous and difficult to deal with. Tumors of the brain can be operated upon, but only with considerable risk to the patient and certainly with no guarantee of success. There are also drug and radiation treatments which can be effective in the treatment of all cancers, but these give extreme side effects and are also far from guaranteed to be successful.
Anyone faced with a brain or nervous system cancer situation has the immediate problem of identifying the exact positioning of the cancer, and how far it may have spread from its initial position. Catching any cancer case early is essential to the chances of the patient, but this is never more the case than it is with neurological cancers. Advanced imaging is now available to neuro specialists, and this can provide the surgeon with an accurate image of the interior of the body, including the brain and the nervous system. This will tell the oncologist whether there is any possibility of surgery being successful, or whether a more general type of treatment is needed.
Surgery is often the preferred treatment for cancer, even though it still carries a significant degree of risk. This is because of the extreme length of time taken for drug treatments, and the extreme side effects which are associated with them. The oncologist who performs the diagnosis will not be a qualified surgeon, so a specialist neurological surgeon will need to be called in. If the tumor can be successfully removed, the recovery chances of the patient will increase dramatically. There will still be a need for follow up treatment, and for the brain or nervous system to be monitored for the appearance of any further growths.
The modern neuro oncologist who carries out surgery now has access to a system which would have made them the envy of any surgeons of the past. This system is known as laparoscopic surgery, and it involves the use of extremely small instruments through microscopic incisions into the body. The surgeon is able to see what they are doing through video recordings which are displayed on a monitor screen. In the case of surgery which is carried out on the brain, there will still obviously need to be a general anesthetic but some other nerve cancers can be treated with only local anesthetic.
There are other treatments which can be prescribed by the oncologist if surgery is not possible. The most common of these is chemotherapy, which involves the use of extremely strong drugs. These will obviously affect the entire body, and they will have severe side effects. The treatment will usually need to be extended of several months, during which time many more scans will need to be taken of the affected area. The drug treatments are able to hold cancerous growths in check, and even reverse the trend completely by killing them off.
The most extreme treatment a neuro oncologist can use is radiotherapy, and this will also need to be carried out by a specialist. This technique involves the use of radiation on the human body, and therefore takes a heavy toll upon it. However, when a cancer has reached an advanced stage where the life of the patient is immediately threatened, there is little alternative but to try to kill off the cancerous growth as quickly as possible. Radiotherapy is often combined with other treatments, which will continue after it has been ceased, on the advice of the neuro oncologist.
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