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What is a common treatment for a tumor on your brain stem?

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Quick Answer

Radiation therapy, chemotherapy and surgery are all options for treating a tumor on the brain stem, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncologists. Radiation therapy is the most common, but doctors often use chemotherapy to shrink the tumor or employ a combination of the three methods.

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Full Answer

Chemotherapy alone is ineffective when treating brain stem gliomas, notes the ASCO. Fatigue is a side effect of both radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy also risks infection, nausea, vomiting and loss of hair. Surgery is an option only when the tumor is easy to see and access without damaging the brain stem. Frequently, an MRI can determine the best approach.

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