Depending on the tumor type and stage, patients may be treated with surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.

  1. Surgery is the usual treatment for most brain tumors.
  2. Surgery to open the skull is called a craniotomy. It is performed under general anesthesia.
  3. Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) uses high-energy rays to kill tumor cells. The radiation may come from x-rays, gamma rays, or protons.
  4. Fractionation—Radiation therapy usually is given five days a week for several weeks.
  5. Hyperfractionation—The patient gets smaller doses of radiation two or three times a day instead of a larger amount once a day.