Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Craniopharyngioma Treatment

The treatment of craniopharyngioma depends on the size and location of the tumor. Treatment for a craniopharyngioma usually includes some combination of surgery and radiation therapy. Anticonvulsant medications and corticosteroids may be required in some patients.

Treatment of craniopharyngioma may include:

Craniopharyngioma Questions For Doctor

The following are some important questions to ask before and after the treatment of craniopharyngioma.

Questions to ask before treatment:

  • What are my treatment options?
    • Is surgery an option for me?
  • What are the risks associated with treatment?
  • Do I need to stay in the hospital?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
  • What are the complications I should watch for?
  • How long will I be on medication?
  • What are the potential side effects of my medication?
  • Does my medication interact with nonprescription medicines or supplements?
  • Should I take my medication with food?

Questions to ask after treatment:
  • Do I need to change my diet?
  • Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
  • When can I resume my normal activities?
  • When can I return to work?
  • Do I need a special exercise program?
  • Will I need physical therapy?
  • Will I need occupational therapy?
  • What else can I do to reduce my risk for complications?
  • Are my children at risk for this condition?
  • How often will I need to see my doctor for checkups?
  • What local support and other resources are available?

Craniopharyngioma Radiation Therapy

Some tumors may be treated with stereotactic radiosurgery. This method uses a highly-focused dose of radiation directed at a small area of the brain tumor. It requires specialized scanning equipment, and 3-dimensional imaging. Another name for this method is a gamma knife.

Gamma knife devices include CyberKnife and LINAC X. These allow doctors to deliver a precise dose of radiation just to the area of the tumor. Gamma knives have a lightweight linear accelerator attached to a robotic arm. This highly-specific therapy delivers deadly doses to tumor cells with a minimal effect on surrounding brain tissue.

Radiotherapy is usually used in addition to surgery, especially when the entire tumor cannot be removed.

Craniopharyngioma Specialist

Physicians from the following specialties evaluate and treat craniopharyngioma:

Craniopharyngioma Surgery

These tumors are deeply embedded in the brain and surrounded by vital structures. Microsurgical techniques allow most of these tumors to be removed with little or no damage to other important structures. Complete removal of the tumor results in a cure.

Complications include:

Continue to Craniopharyngioma Home Care

Last Updated: Dec 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Craniopharyngioma References
  1. Dipatri AJ Jr, Prabhu V. A history of the treatment of craniopharyngiomas. Childs Nerv Syst. 2005 Aug;21(8-9):606-621. [16044342]
  2. Lena G, Paredes AP, Scavarda D, Giusiano B. Craniopharyngioma in children: Marseille experience. Childs Nerv Syst. 2005 Aug;21(8-9):778-84. [16133277]
  3. Tsai EC, Santoreneos S, Rutka JT. Tumors of the skull base in children: review of tumor types and management strategies. Neurosurg Focus. 2002 May 15;12(5):e1. [16119897]
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