Brain Tumor Surgery Success Rate

The surgical removal by and large is the most effective treatment of brain tumor. With early treatment, more than 85% of patients survive for 5 years.
The chances of survival are dropped to 40 % in case of late-stage cancers, when the tumor is large and cannot be removed surgically.

Brain Tumor

Tumors in the brain are an overgrowth of cells that produce a mass, some are benign or non-cancerous. Brain tumors irrespective of being cancerous or not may generate severe conditions as the skull is rigid, therefore it doesn’t allow the tumor to expand. And in case the tumors develop near parts of the brain that control vital functions, they may cause problems, such as weakness, difficulty in walking, imbalance, partial or complete loss of vision, obstruction in comprehending language, and problems with memory.

In layman language, the DNA tells the cells what to do. Sometimes this DNA transforms and tells cells to duplicate unusually, dividing quickly and living longer than healthy cells are supposed to. These cells collect into a mass. In case of a brain tumor, in various parts of the brain. The brain is the control centre for the rest of the body, and thus impacts all other functions.

The mass comprises abnormal cells which may continue to spread and invade other surrounding tissues.

These tumors can be classified as different types of tumors based on their severity.

These tumors originate in the brain or surrounding tissues and destroy brain cells. They are known as primary brain tumors.

  • The most common primary tumors include
  • Gliomas (including astrocytoma, oligodendrogliomas, and glioblastomas) and ependymomas
  • Medulloblastomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Acoustic neuromas

Gliomas account for 65% of all primary brain tumors.

When any type of cancer, forming elsewhere in the body is spread to the brain the tumor is known as a secondary or metastatic brain tumor. Lung, breast, kidney, colon are the common tumors that can spread to the brain.

Metastases from other parts of the body may spread to a single part of the brain or to several different parts. Many types of cancer can spread to the brain. They include

  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Lymphoma and leukaemia

The non-cancerous tumors that could be easily removed are termed as Benign Brain Tumors. If they become the root of complications in particular areas of the brain, they could be fatal.

Malignant Brain Tumors are the cancerous tumors and have the ability to spread to the surrounding healthy tissues.

Brain tumors differ in accordance to the growth of cancerous cells and the capability to cause symptoms.

  • Depending on the pace at which cells are spreading aggressively, brain tumors have different grades which are as follows:

The higher the numbers, the more serious a tumour is: grade 1 and 2 brain tumours are non-cancerous (benign) tumours that tend to grow quite slowly.

Grade 3 and 4 brain tumours are cancerous (malignant) tumours that grow more quickly and are more difficult to treat.

  • Grade I: The tissue in this case is benign. The growth is slow and cells appear normal in case they’re closely monitored.
  • Grade II: The cells may not be as normal as they show in Grade II and the tissue is malignant.
  • Grade III: The cancerous cells multiply actively and are termed anaplastic. The other feature is that the cells appear opposite from healthy cells.
  • Grade IV: The malignant tissue has destructively abnormal cells that grow at a faster rate. Their growth is quite aggressive.

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Impact of Brain Tumors

Brain tumors pose a risk:

  • They attack the brain tissue and destroy it.
  • They exert pressure on nearby tissue
  • They intensify pressure within the skull (intracranial pressure) because the tumor occupies space and the skull cannot expand accordingly to accommodate it.
  • The tumors cause fluid to build up in the brain.
  • They obstruct the normal circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid through the spaces within the brain. In reaction these spaces enlarge.
  • Tumors may cause bleeding.

Specific Treatments for Brain Tumors

Treatments for brain tumors include the following:

  • Craniotomy (brain surgery)
  • Radiosurgery
  • Implants
  • Shunts
  • Stereotactic techniques

Causes of a Brain Tumor

There may be no definite causes of brain tumor; however, there are common risk factors or triggers that may cause a brain tumor:

  • Obesity or being overweight augments the risk of certain types of brain tumors.
  • Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption accounts to an unhealthy lifestyle which may only trigger abnormal cell growth.
    Increasing age escalates the risk of getting brain tumors.
  • Frequent or excessive exposure to radiation through ionizing radiation, X-rays, and computed tomography (CT) scans, power lines, nuclear plants, mobile phones, and cell phone towers may prompt tumors.
  • Exposure to certain harmful chemicals like, diesel exhaust, coal tar volatiles, tobacco smoke, arsenic compounds, cadmium compounds, nickel compounds, and more may trigger a brain tumor include.
  • Past history of cancer such as leukaemia as a child have a higher risk of brain tumors as an adult. Adults who have had cancer also may have a chance of getting brain tumors, however, more research is required to confirm this finding.
  • Brain tumors may be genetically inherited in some rare cases.

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Cost of a Brain Tumor Surgery

The average cost of Brain Tumor surgery in India starts from $4800.

This is approximately 20% of what it costs in the western countries as the average price of Brain Tumor surgery in those countries is estimated to be above $25,000.

The cost may vary from case to case and individual to individual. There are many variables which impact the pricing in case of brain tumors.

Type of tumor.

  • Stage and grade of the tumor.
  • Use of technology.
  • Type of surgery performed.
  • Number of radiation cycles.
  • Cost of medicines and other consumables.
  • The total duration of a stay in a hospital.

Possibilities of Surviving Brain Surgery

The survival rate is usually a 5-year survival rate.
This indicates the portion of people alive for the next 5 years once it is diagnosed.

Survival rates usually forecast results based on people who’ve already had the disease, which, however, may not be linked to what will happen afterward.

The 5-year survival rate of brain tumor varies for men & women.

Survival Rate of Brain Tumor Men-34%
Survival Rate of Brain Tumor Women-36%

However, survival rates vary depending on many other factors, however, the very common factors may include type of tumor, age, etc.

Brain tumor requires surgical treatment to remove tumors, performed by a team of well-experienced surgeons.

Brain Tumor Removal Success Rate

Removal of a benign or malignant neoplasm of the brain is a complex operation, when neurosurgeons remove the tumor from the patient’s brain.

Most often, the operation is performed for benign neoplasms – meningiomas.

The tumor is also removed for-

  • Glioma.
  • Glioblastoma.
  • Astrocytoma.

Removal of tumors of the pituitary gland and cranial nerves is achievable. A similar surgery is carried out in the case when metastases from another organ have penetrated the brain.

Success rate of a surgical removal of a brain tumor is based on certain conditions.

  • The surgical removal by and large is the most effective treatment. With early treatment, more than 85% of patients survive for 5 years.
  • The chances of survival are dropped to 40 % in case of late-stage cancers, when the tumor is large and cannot be removed surgically.

Also, it is a limited option as even if one condition is not met an alternate treatment is decided.

The surgery is performed only if:

  • The tumor is small and has clear boundaries.
  • The neoplasm grows rapidly.
  • The tumor does not touch vital parts of the brain.
  • The neoplasm is located in a place accessible to the surgeon.

The operation lasts from 4 to 6 hours as it requires great accuracy and care.

Alternative Line of Treatment of Brain Tumors

  • Chemotherapy,

In some cases, Radiation therapy procedures are performed before or after surgery in order to reduce the tumor and increase the chances of long-term survival and the success rate of Brain Tumor Surgery.

  • If the tumor is malignant and cannot be removed, the doctor prescribes the Gamma Knife radio surgical procedure.
  • Surgical removal of the tumor is the most effective treatment for brain cancer.

Brain Tumor Surgery Success Rate

The success rate of brain tumor surgery entirely depends on the stage, size, and type of the tumor, age, gender, etc.

The success rate of a brain tumor surgery majorly depends on a fundamental rule:

  • The sooner the patient seeks treatment, the less noticeable the outcomes of the operation.
  • During the initial stages of cancer, if the operation involves zero- complications, the patient surely returns to a normal & an active life.
  • However, there are cases where the tumor has damaged some of the brain functions, the patient must undergo neurological rehabilitation.

Keep a watch on initial symptoms which should not be ignored:

  • Unexplained vomiting/nausea.
  • Blurred or double vision.
  • Fatigue.
  • Increased sleepiness.
  • Onset of seizures.
  • Headaches especially early morning headaches.
  • Memory problems.
  • Speech difficulty.

The brain for sure has the capability to compensate and recuperate, the prognosis for rehabilitation is generally optimistic.

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Dr. Surbhi Suden is one of the founders of Lyfboat and a doctor with a renowned name in the Medical tourism industry. She has been working with international patients since 2008 and is a deeply committed professional with a long term vision of transforming the current healthcare scenarios.
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