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How is a brain tumor diagnosed and treated?

On Behalf of | Nov 15, 2018 | Medical Malpractice

The brain is the body’s command center. When functioning properly, an individual’s physical, emotional and cognitive abilities are unimpaired. However, any minor change to the brain can result is significant changes. Brain tumors can cause these changes and pose serious threats to one’s overall health. Although some of these tumors are benign, others are cancerous. This is why quick and accurate diagnosis is crucial to effective treatment of a brain tumor.

To start, a neurological test may be able to determine if an individual’s brain is being affected by something. If this tests shows signs of impairment of brain functioning, then imaging tests like MRIs and/or PETs may be conducted to detect any existing masses within the brain. Other parts of the body may be scanned, too, if it is determined that a brain tumor is the result of another type of cancer that has spread. A biopsy is often conducted on tumors to determine if it is benign or cancerous. This will dictate how treatment will be carried out moving forward.

There are a few ways that brain tumors can be treated. If it can be reached without damaging the brain, then surgical removal may be a possibility. Radiation therapy that utilizes X-rays and protons may be effective, as it seeks to kill tumor cells. Radiosurgery is also an option. Here, highly focused beams of radiation are focused in a small area of the brain in an attempt to kill tumor cells. Chemotherapy and drug therapy may also be beneficial for those who suffer from a brain tumor.

Although there are multiple treatment options available, the effectiveness of these treatments is dependent upon a number of factors. Two of those factors are the speed at which the condition is diagnosed and the accuracy of that diagnosis. The failure to diagnose a medical condition such as cancer can be fatal to an innocent patient. That is why doctors whose negligence causes a worsened medical condition that requires more extensive treatment should be held accountable by a medical malpractice lawsuit.