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The standard approach for treating brain tumors is to reduce the tumor as much as possible using surgery, radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy), or chemotherapy. Such treatments are used alone or, more commonly, in combinations.
The intensity, combination, and sequence of treatments depends on the brain tumor type (there are over 100 types of brain tumors), its size and location, and patient age, health status, and medical history. Unlike other types of cancer, there is no formal staging system for brain tumors.
With some very slow-growing cancers, such as those that occur in the midbrain or optic nerve pathway, patients may be closely observed and not treated until the tumor shows signs of growth.
Support for patients and their families is a critical component of treatment and management. Helpful measures include:
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