A frightful diagnosis

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"I am sorry to inform you, but your child has a brain tumor.  The world begins to fall down around the parent or loved one that hears these words. A brain tumor can be a tragic diagnosis that can affect anyone at any age. Depending on the type and grade of the tumor, the patient may have different treatment options. A positive attitude can greatly improve the quality of life for anyone with a brain tumor.

There are two major groups of brain tumors. First, there are benign brain tumors. They are not cancerous and can usually be cured by surgery. Benign tumors grow extremely slowly and may take years to fully develop. They are also known to reoccur after being cured (Brain Tumor 1).

The other type is a malignant brain tumor. These tumors are often life threatening. Malignant tumors grow quickly and may be cancerous. Although these tumors grow, neither type will spread outside of the brain or to the spinal cord (Brain Tumor 1).

Since there are so many different types of brain tumors, scientists have a grading system used to group them. First, there is Grade I. These are the slow growing, benign tumors. Next, is Grade II. This stage is a little more dangerous because the cells are becoming abnormal and they start spreading to other tissue. Grade III tumors are the same as Grade II except they grow faster. The final grade is Grade IV. The cells of these tumors are aggressive and will reproduce quickly (Brain Tumor 2).

The two major types of treatment usually used for brain tumors are surgery and radiotherapy (Mangiardi 2). Surgery includes the following: locate the tumor exactly, open the skull, remove as much of the tumor as possible and prevent hemorrhage (Gunther 31). Having radiotherapy after surgery will help limit major side effects ("Brain Tumor  2).

Johnny Gunther, son of John and Frances Gunther, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. His brain was five hundre

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