National Brain Tumor Awareness Month

May is National Brain Tumor Awareness Month.  Driven by advancement in research, surgical techniques, genetic discoveries, and much more, it has never been a better time to take action on brain tumors.

The National Brain Tumor Society (NBTS), an organization whose mission is to unrelentingly invest in, mobilize, and unite our community to discover a cure, deliver effective treatments, and advocate for brain tumor patients and care partners, estimates that 700,000 people in the United States are living with a primary brain tumor and over 87,000 more will be diagnosed in 2020.

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain or central spine that can disrupt proper brain function.  Doctors refer to a tumor based on where the tumor cells originated, and whether they are cancerous (malignant) or not (benign).  Brain tumors can be deadly, significantly impact the quality of life, and change everything for a patient and their loved ones.  They do not discriminate, inflicting men, women, and children of all races and ethnicities.

Below are some quick Brain Tumor Facts from the NBTS:

– Of the estimated 700,000 Americans are living with a brain tumor:

69.8% of tumors are benign

30.2% of tumors are malignant

– Of the estimated 87,240 people that will receive a primary brain tumor diagnosis in 2020:

61,430 will be benign

25,800 will be malignant

– There are more than 130 different types of brain tumors, many with their own multitude of subtypes.

– The most prevalent brain tumor types in adults are Meningiomas, which make up 53.3% of all non-malignant tumors, and Glioblastomas, which make up 48.3% of all malignant tumors.

At Alliance Radiation Oncology at Anna Jaques Hospital, radiation therapy is used to treat brain tumors painlessly and noninvasively.  Radiation therapy serves as an effective treatment for primary brain tumors and metastatic brain tumors, working within and around cancer cells to limit their ability to multiply.  During treatment, high-energy X-rays are delivered to brain tumors safely and effectively.  Side effects are usually minimal, and most patients return to their normal activities immediately after each treatment.  Several factors determine candidacy for brain tumor radiation therapy treatment including your age, overall health, type, location, and size of the tumor, as well as how aggressive the tumor appears to be.

More than any other cancer, brain tumors can have lasting and life-altering physical, cognitive, and psychological impacts on a patient’s life.  The physicians and clinical teams at Alliance Radiation Oncology at Anna Jaques Hospital are here to help.  For more information about how we treat brain tumors, please contact us today.