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Brain Cancer

Also known as Central Nervous System Cancer, can be grouped into two main types: benign tumors or malignant (cancerous) tumors. Tumors can be of primary type which start in brain tissue, or secondary meaning that they have spread from somewhere else in the body. Symptoms depend upon what part of the brain the tumor is in and may include headache, vision problems, seizures, nausea & vomiting, or mental status changes. Diagnosis is made using imaging with a CT scan (computed tomography) or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging), then often followed by a surgical biopsy.

There is no standard staging system for primary type brain tumors. Brain tumors are assigned a "Grade" based upon the way the cancer cells look under a microscope. Grades include: I, II, III, and IV. Brain cancer is treated with surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of all these. Grading systems are used by doctors to determine which treatments to offer. The effectiveness of the treatment may depend upon the Grade at diagnosis.

NOTE: Treatment Options listed below are not all-inclusive. Other treatments may be available. ChemoExperts provides drug information and does not recommend any one treatment over another. Only your Doctor can choose which therapy is appropriate for you.

Notice to user: The term chemotherapy, later shortened to “chemo”, originated in the early 1900s from Nobel Prize winning German physician and chemist, Dr. Paul Erlich. Dr. Erlich defined chemotherapy to mean “the use of chemicals as a therapy to treat disease.” (Source). Many years later, the term became synonymous with the use of chemicals to treat cancer specifically. Because early cancer therapies became quickly known for their severe side effect profile, the term chemotherapy took on a negative connotation. If we fast forward several decades, the anti-cancer therapies used today have become refined, and for many diseases, treatment can be safely taken in the comfort of your own home.

As chemotherapy has become particularly targeted, certain side effects have lessened, while new side effects have emerged. However, the premise behind therapy, that is using a chemical to kill cancer, has not changed. Therefore, the clinicians who created ChemoExperts.com believe the term “chemotherapy” still very much applies to all anti-cancer medications, but importantly, can no longer suggest what, if any, side effects a patient is likely to experience. For this to become clear, education regarding each individual drug, as well as information derived from the use of combination therapy (multiple chemo medications) is required. As a result, we have structured our website to make it easier for users to learn about cancer treatment and hope that if you are taking or receiving chemotherapy, that ChemoExperts.com is able to provide you with the tools needed to make the journey a little easier and life more rewarding.

Treatment Options

Created: December 8, 2015 Updated: June 15, 2021


Boele FW, Given CW, Given BA, et al. Family caregivers' level of mastery predicts survival of patients with glioblastoma: A preliminary report. Cancer. 2017 Mar 1;123(5):832-840.