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What is Neuro-Oncology

Neuro-Oncology is a sub specialty of oncology that deals with the study and treatment of primary and secondary tumors of brain, spinal cord and the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord (meninges).

Who are neuro-oncologists?

Neuro-oncologists are specialists who are involved in the treatment and management of primary, metastatic central and peripheral nervous system neoplasms, neurologic complications of cancer and other related disorders. Neuro-oncologists work closely with neurosurgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists.

Commonly Used Treatments in Neuro-Oncology

The course of treatment for patients with neural cancers is relatively complicated as it involves the brain and the spinal cord, two major units of the human body. The following common types of treatments are used to treat patients with a neural cancer: -

  • Radiotherapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Corticosteroids
  • Neuro Surgical Interventions

 

Tumors treated under Neuro-Oncology

Neural Tumors can be bifurcated into primary tumors and metastatic tumors.

Primary tumors:-

  • Malignant Astrocytomas
  • Other Astrocytomas
  • Oligodendrogliomas
  • Brain Stem Gliomas
  • Pituitary Region Tumors
  • Germ Cell and Pineal Region Tumors
  • Medulloblastoma and Other Primitive Neuroectodermal Tumors
  • Meningiomas and Other Meningeal Tumors
  • Tumors of the Optic Nerve and Chiasm
  • Primary Central Nervous System Lymphoma
  • Primary Spinal Cord Tumors

 

Metastatic tumors:-

  • Spinal Cord Metastasis
  • Brain Metastasis
  • Leptomeningeal Metastasis

 

Role of a Neuro-oncologist

A Neuro-oncologist is responsible for the treatment of brain tumors and other types of tumors of the nervous system. He/she works in conjunction with a neuro physician, medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist to offer the best possible treatment.

The role of a neuro-oncologist involves: -

  • Giving a description to the patients about the type of cancer, where it is located, its stage, where it has spread and whether it is affecting other parts of the body or not.
  • Discussing all possible treatment options with the panel of doctors involved and recommending the best course of action to the patients.
  • Delivering high-quality care.
  • Helping in the maintenance of the patient’s overall health by managing the related symptoms, pain and treating the side effects.