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Tumor Surgery

You and your medical team will decide on the best treatment plan for you. These team members may include:

  • Neurologist or neuro-oncologist
  • Neurosurgeon who is a specialist in the removal of ependymomas
  • Radiation oncologist (a healthcare provider who specializes in treating tumors with radiation)
  • Nurse
  • Nurse practitioner
  • Psychologist
  • Social worker

Treatment depends on the type and location of your tumor. Your healthcare team will decide the best treatment plan for you. The main treatment in adults is surgery to remove as much of the tumor as possible. Your chances of the best outcome are highest if your healthcare provider is able to fully remove your tumor. A healthcare provider will examine the tumor to find out your tumor type and grade.

Radiation therapy often follows surgery. In some cases, you may need chemotherapy after surgery. You may also have one or more of the following treatments:

  • Conformal radiotherapy or intensity-modulated radiotherapy
  • Proton beam radiotherapy
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery, if the tumor is small enough and has not spread
  • Chemotherapy medicine that is given by mouth, IV, or injected into the spinal fluid (intrathecal), for tumors that have spread

You may also need a tube inserted to drain excess CSF and lower your ICP. You will likely need to have several follow-up MRI scans to monitor your situation.

Most people with ependymomas have a good outcome. In some cases, ependymoma comes back after treatment. To check for this, you will likely need to have follow-up MRI scans in the weeks after surgery, and then a few times a year after that. Talk to your healthcare provider about the risk of treatment risks and side effects, your prognosis, and the chances of your tumor returning.