Brain cancer treatment
The aim of treatment may be to remove the tumour completely, slow its growth, or relieve symptoms by shrinking the tumour and reducing swelling. Your choice of treatment will depend on:
- the type, size, grade, location and genetic make-up of the tumour
- your age, medical history and general state of health
- the types of symptoms you have.
For a benign tumour, surgery may be the only treatment needed.
For a malignant brain or spinal cord tumour, treatment can include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy, which may be used alone or together. Medicines, such as steroids or anticonvulsants (anti-seizure medicines), may be given to reduce symptoms.
You may be able to access new or modified treatments through a clinical trial.
Learn more about:
Podcast: Making Treatment Decisions
A/Prof Andrew Davidson, Neurosurgeon, Macquarie University Hospital, NSW; Dr Lucy Gately, Medical Oncologist, Oncology Clinics Victoria, and Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, VIC; Melissa Harrison, Allied Health Manager and Senior Neurological Physiotherapist, Advance Rehab Centre, NSW; Scott Jones, Consumer; Anne King, Neurology Cancer Nurse Coordinator, Health Department, WA; Dr Toni Lindsay, Senior Clinical Psychologist and Allied Health Manager, Chris O’Brien Lifehouse, NSW; Elissa McVey, Consumer; Caitriona Nienaber, 13 11 20 Consultant, Cancer Council WA; Dr Claire Phillips, Deputy Director, Radiation Oncology, Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, VIC.
View the Cancer Council NSW editorial policy.
Coping with cancer?
Speak to a health professional or to someone who has been there, or find a support group or forum
Looking for transport, accommodation or home help?
Practical advice and support during and after treatment
Work and cancer
Information for employees, employers and workplaces dealing with cancer