Cervico medullary astrocytoma
Treatment & Care
What treatments are available for cervico-medullary glioma?
Surgery has multiple roles in the diagnosis and treatment of gliomas, including release of pressure on the brain, biopsy and tumor removal.
If your child has a brain tumor, the first treatment is usually surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible.
- Tumor specimens are examined by neuropathologists to determine the exact diagnosis.
When possible, it’s best to completely remove the entire tumor. In general, the more of the tumor that is removed, the greater the chance for survival.
- Tumors of the cerebral hemispheres are in general more easily removed than those of the midline, inner-brain structures.
Our doctors use precisely targeted and dosed radiation to kill cancer cells left behind after your child’s surgery. This is important to control the growth of the tumor, and it helps increase survival in high-grade gliomas.
Chemotherapy (“chemo”) is a drug that interferes with the cancer cell’s ability to grow or reproduce. For some kinds of tumors, chemotherapy before surgery may help shrink the tumor, making it possible to remove.
How is chemotherapy given?
Different chemotherapies may be given:
- as a pill to swallow
- as an injection into the muscle or fat tissue
- intravenously (directly to the bloodstream, also called IV)
- intrathecally (directly into the spinal column with a needle)
How is chemotherapy used?
This depends on many factors. Some things to keep in mind:
- A number of combinations of chemotherapy drugs are currently being used to stabilize and, in some cases, to shrink the size of the tumor.
- Depending on the type of cancer, chemotherapy drugs may be given in a specific order.
- Chemotherapy may be used alone for some types of cancer, or in conjunction with other therapy such as radiation or surgery.
Does chemotherapy come with bad side effects?
While chemotherapy can be quite effective in treating some cancers, the drugs do not differentiate normal healthy cells from cancer cells. Because of this, there can be many adverse side effects during treatment. Being able to anticipate these side effects can help your child, family and your child’s health care team prepare for and sometimes prevent these symptoms from occurring.