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What is the standard treatment for a benign brain tumor?

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Quick Answer

The standard treatment for a benign brain tumor is surgery to remove the tumor, explains National Health Service. Not all benign brain tumors can be operated on, however, and these must be treated with radiation or radiation and chemotherapy.

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Full Answer

Surgery to remove a benign brain tumor is designed to remove as much of the tumor as possible while leaving the surrounding brain as intact as possible, states National Health Service. In the majority of cases, a benign brain tumor does not return, although some do return or even become cancerous. In some cases, surgery is possible but the whole tumor cannot be removed, and in these cases, the remaining tumor is destroyed through chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Several medications including corticosteroids, antivomiting medication, anticonvulsants and painkillers are commonly prescribed before and after surgery to help minimize symptoms.

When benign brain tumors are too deep to be removed through normal surgery, a special type of radiation therapy known as stereotactic radiosurgery can sometimes be used, according to National Health Service. This type of radiation therapy uses high energy beams of radiation to focus on the tumor and destroy it in one treatment. This alternative is only suitable for tumors with the right characteristics, but it allows for very rapid recovery.

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