Cancer Treatment Options
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is the use of
high-energy rays to kills tumor cells and stop them from growing
and multiplying. Radiation therapy is sometimes used for people
who cannot undergo surgery. In other cases, it is used after
surgery to kill any tumor calls that may remain. Radiation
therapy is a local therapy. This means that it affects only
cells in its path. It does not harm cells elsewhere in the
body or even elsewhere in the brain.
Chemotherapy is the use of powerful drugs to kill tumor cells.
A single drug or a combination may be used. The drugs are
given by mouth or through an IV line. Some medications are
given through the shunt put in place to drain excess fluid
from your brain. Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles.
Most regimens are designed so that 2-4 cycles are completed.
There is then a break in the treatment to see how your tumor
has responded to the therapy.
The side effects of chemotherapy are well known and
are very difficult to tolerate for some people. They include
nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, loss of appetite, loss of
hair, and many others. Some of these side effects can be relieved
or improved by medication.