Diagnostics and treatment of brain astrocytoma in the best hospitals
Astroglia is present in all parts of the spinal cord and brain as it maintains vital functions and nutrition of the nervous cells. Thus, astrocytoma can arise in diverse parts of the central nervous system. Depending on the grade and localization of the tumor, brain astrocytoma can be aggressive or slow-growing. These factors determine preferable treatment options and the overall prognosis. Hospitals of the developed countries offer precise histological diagnostic and full range of the sparing, approved and novel therapeutic options.
Complaints suggestive of astrocytoma
Symptoms that are most typical for the brain astrocytoma include the following ones:
- Nausea accompanied by vomiting or without it.
- Seizures that do not respond to the anticonvulsants intake.
- Headache that does not respond to the painkillers intake.
- Vision abnormalities (blurred or double vision).
- Changes in the personality or mood for no reason.
- Hampered thinking, concentration and learning new information.
Nevertheless, these complaints can arise in few neurological pathologies. Consultation with a general practitioner, neurosurgeon, or neurologist will make the situation clearer.
Diagnostics: is physical examination enough?
Astrocytoma treatment in Germany is planned according to the results of the laboratory, histological and instrumental tests:
- MRI or CT scan are visualizing studies that reveal tumor localization, its relation to the surrounding organs, spreading to the nearby tissues, etc. In order to achieve better visualization, a doctor may additionally make an injection of the contrasts dye. This increases sensitivity and specificity of the study.
- Biopsy is the most informative procedure in terms of determining cancer types. For better safety and lower risks, it is performed as the neurosurgical stereotactic manipulation. 3D coordinates of the brain astrocytoma are predetermined and the procedure is constantly guided by MRI. The received tissue sample is further investigated in the laboratory conditions.
- Laboratory tests, including the complete blood count, kidney and liver function tests, blood coagulation test, etc.
Based on the results, astrocytoma may be diffuse (low-grade), pilocytic, anaplastic, or glioblastoma.
Invasive and systemic therapeutic measures
When it concerns therapeutic programs in the best hospitals of the developed countries, patients may use benefits of the local medical developments or participate in clinical trials. Beyond all doubt, internationally approved conventional protocols are used there as well:
- Surgery is aimed at sparing removal of the atypical tissue. The task may be challenging, as the neoplasm is often located in the vital cerebral zones. For the purpose of maximal safety, neurosurgeons perform functional mapping of the brain, apply robotic systems (e.g. ROSA system) and carry out MRI-guided catheter ablation procedures (e.g. with Visualase™ system).
- Radiation therapy includes radiosurgery with Gamma knife and Cyberknife systems, as well as the fractionated whole brain irradiation. The second one is performed after the surgery and serves for the result consolidation and relapse prevention.
- Chemotherapy is added in patients with the aggressive cancer. First-line drug in this case is temozolomide. Temozolomide affects tumor cells’ DNA and blocks their multiplication.
Typically, medical programs are followed by the rehabilitation ones. Rehabilitation is aimed at improving life quality and ability to fulfill basic activities of daily living.
Choosing therapy for the brain astrocytoma abroad with Booking Health
Planning treatment of brain astrocytoma abroad, one should consider countries with developed medical technologies, notably Germany. Treatment in Germany may seem complicated for people without previous relevant experience. Booking Health, that is certified medical tourism provider, will facilitate the process in this case.
During the planning treatment of brain astrocytoma in Germany specialists of Booking Health:
- Assist in selection of the best hospitals.
- Elaborate and explain the preliminary medical program.
- Establish communication with an oncologist and neurosurgeon; make an appointment.
- Exclude additional fees; reduce cost of the medical services.
- Control the final calculation, return the unspent funds.
- Assist in medicines purchasing and forwarding.
- Arrange follow-up tests and rehabilitation.
- Take care about accommodation, tickets, and transfer.
- Translate medical reports.
- Offer services of medical interpreter and personal coordinator.