The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) recently released an updated guideline for treatment of brain metastases, or cancer that has spread to the brain from another area of the body. The guideline, which was published in Practical Radiation Oncology, provides doctors with research to support treatment decisions, promote best practices and help improve care for patients diagnosed with brain metastases.
The research found that whole-brain radiation or radiosurgery (such as the Gamma Knife) are associated with improved tumor control. In people who have one metastasis, radiosurgery or surgery has been found to improve survival and tumor control compared with whole-brain radiation alone. The guidelines provide support in determining treatment for people who have a single metastasis or multiple metastases.
Because there are often many treatment options, the most important goal—survival, quality of life, tumor control or brain function—should be the deciding factor in choosing among the them. You and your doctor should work together to determine the best treatment for you.
Several factors need to be considered when determining treatment, such as the size, location and the type of tumor you have, as well as your health status. At The Valley Hospital, our physicians can help you determine the best course of treatment. Treatment options might include surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery (such as Gamma Knife treatment), radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Cancer symptoms can be managed through medications and complementary therapies.