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large grade ii astrocytoma best treatments

Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013

Hello everyone, I've spent a lot of time reading this forum but I still haven't found a straight answer to a very difficult question.  Does anyone know the difference of time frame between a Pterional Carniotomy and just treating the tumor with radiation or chemo or both?  I guess what i need to know is will it be simialar in time frames and how much risk is there for the procedure?  all of the dr's I spoke to told me that because I'm left handed and my tumor is on the right hand side (and rather large closer to the bottom) I could possibly have issues with understanding and using speech, also I could possibly be forever limp on my left side as well.  these would be due to surgery and would be a big deal.

I'm concerned that the surgery would take lets say 6 months of recovery (and my seizures may continue even afterwards), and the radiation/chemo would take 8 months or something.  it wouldn't make sense to put myself through the extra pain, risk and money (which btw, I could get the radiation/chemo for free) if the difference would only be a couple of months.  I'm sorry if this is a mess to read please let me know if there's any updates I can make to help you understand this easier

Tracer's picture
Posts: 1
Joined: May 2013


First, let me say I can understand your concerns, can't really help with the surgery option, as my tumors are Inoperable. The 1st tumor was/is located on my right thalmus, the 2nd is just as deep. So surgery was never an option for me. They did do a biopsy of the first tumor (basically they drilled a hole just above the right ear. Which confirmed it as an Anaplastic Astrocytoma. Grade3 possibly 3 and 4. So it was decided to treat it as grade4. I went thru the radiation, with minimal side effects, but your effects from a surgery, radiation, and chemo will be different. Any time they cut into the brain, there is always a chance that something important will be cut. A side effect of my biopsy was that they nicked a nerve between part of my left eye and the thalmus leaving me with a hole in my vision from my left eye, It's irritating,  but minor compared to the other possibilities!  At first I was given temidor once I had healed up from the radiation, tem made me very sick and lethargic/fatigued, After several months on tem, I had an MRI which found another smaller tumor also deep in the brain. So they switched me to Carbo-platin and avastin, I have finished with the carbo infusions, not really any noticable side effects, am now just doing avastin infusion every 3 weeks this is scheduled to go on until dec 2013.

In my mind the total lack of survival stories for "In-operable Brain Tumors" is fairly scarey. Also a Diagnosis of AA results in an automatic qualification for SS Disability, is also scarey.

So far, I am doing good, never had a "Seizure" I did have an event a few days after my first MRI, it was about 3 or 4 days after my first MRI, I was sitting at my desk (at home) when I felt weird I also felt the urge to go to the bathroom, I stood up and walked7 feet to the door way to the bathroom, and lost all control of my muscles, went from standing to watching the door go by as I dropped like a rock, never lost consciousness, just couldn't control my muscles. it only lasted for a second or so. and has never happened again. It was enough to put me on anti-seizure meds. 

Posts: 5
Joined: Apr 2013

Hi Tracer - Just read your post.  I've just finished week one chemo/radiation for an inoperable AA3/4 as well.  No side effects outside of being tired after treatments, so I nap.  Treating me at Johns Hopkins in Baltimore, MD.  Would like to follow and get any advice you've had.  Thanks, Liz

I_Promise's picture
Posts: 218
Joined: Aug 2011



I am very sorry about your diagnosis. Beside surgery, there are today new options for all the inoperable tumors. Laser heat targeted therapy is one option, gamma knife is another. This is what I would do if I had a brain tumor that was inoperable. My sister had a grade 3 AA and was operated on; she recovered perfectly and has no deficits. It usually depends on surgeon's skill and luck with the location of the tumor.



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