Making treatment decisions can be overwhelming. Our promise is to work with you to find the best treatment plan for either you or your loved one. Every patient deserves the highest standard of care. Usually, treatment planning is discussed at our clinic visits or over the phone. It is helpful to bring your patient book and a notepad to our visits. We also recommend that you keep a written list of questions you can bring to your appointments. Treatment planning is a dynamic and multidisciplinary process that will change to fit the needs of the patient. The type of treatment given is decided by discussing different factors such as the tumor type, its genetic markers, its location, the patient’s age and medical history and the patient’s ability to tolerate specific chemotherapies or procedures.
General Types of Treatment
- Surgery: Stereotactic biopsy vs resection. This will be determined by the neurosurgeon and discussed prior to the procedure. Sometimes the tumor location is such that a resection cannot be safely performed. Learn more about the UF Health Neurosurgery team.
- Radiation therapy: X-rays and other forms of radiation are used to destroy tumor cells or slow tumor growth. Orlando Health UF Health Cancer Center is proud to offer proton therapy to eligible patients. Learn more about our radiation oncology team.
- Chemotherapy: Using highly toxic drugs to kill rapidly dividing cells. It can be taken orally or intravenously. Temozolomide is a type of chemotherapy used for standard of care treatment for astrocytomas or oligodendrogliomas. More information about temozolomide and other chemotherapies can be found on the National Cancer Institute website.
- Targeted and biological therapies: Avastin or bevacizumab is the most commonly prescribed targeted therapy for brain tumor patients. Avastin works by preventing the growth and maintenance of tumor blood vessels, resulting in tumor cell death. More information can be found through the National Cancer Institute.
- The Optune Device: This is a state of art, FDA approved anticancer treatment. It is a wearable device that uses “wave like” alternating electromagnetic fields to disrupt the rapid cell division exhibited by cancer cells. You can find information and videos about this device at www.optune.com.
There are many rehabilitative services within the Orlando Health organization. These programs are intended to guide you through the difficult life-altering aspects of having a brain tumor. Referrals to any of the services listed below may be provided during one of our office visits. For more information, you can either call the facility directly or contact our clinic at 321-841-7218. We recommend contacting your insurance company as well for advice from a case manager about rehabilitation services within your coverage plan.
Physical and Occupational Therapy
Many brain tumor patients experience weakness on one side. Sometimes long term steroid use can cause muscle weakness. Mobility is essential to your health and we encourage you to seek services that will safely facilitate strength building or gait training exercises. Orlando Health has an excellent team of both occupational and physical therapists who can potentially work with you either in your own home or at an outpatient facility. Learn more information about our services.
Speech therapy, or speech pathology, diagnoses and treats disorders affecting speech, voice and language. Our professionals are experts in their field and maintain open communication with the neuro-oncology team. You can find more information about scheduling an appointment by visiting our Speech Therapy services page.
Lucerne Driving Rehab
This course is designed to ensure you are ready to begin driving again. This is a great way to self-assess for any deficits that may endanger yourself and other drivers before driving again. In the state of Florida, a person must have gone at least six months without a seizure before they are able to drive. This rehabilitation provides you with a certificate as well which is a great document to have on file for car insurance purposes. For more information you can call 407-841-8911.