Brain & Spinal Cord Tumors: Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Brain and spinal cord tumors are rare, but when they are diagnosed they require specialized treatment from skilled oncologists, neurosurgeons and various other specialists. At SSM Health Cancer Care, we believe the first step in comprehensive treatment for patients diagnosed with these types of central nervous system cancers is education. Knowing and understanding the signs and symptoms is essential.

Signs & Symptoms of Brain & Spinal Cord Tumors

SSM Health Cancer Care actively treats patients with metastatic brain cancer. Tumors that start in the brain or spinal cord can present different signs and symptoms:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headaches that tend to worsen over time
  • Blurred vision
  • Problems balancing or walking
  • Problems with language
  • Seizures (occur in about half of people with a brain tumor)
  • Personality or behavior changes
  • Drowsiness
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Weakness of facial muscles

SSM Health Cancer Care treats and sees adult patients with central nervous system cancers. Our children’s hospital, SSM Health Cardinal Glennon is setup to see and treat the specific needs of our pediatric cancer patients.

Diagnosing Brain & Spinal Cord Tumors

Pinpointing tumors in the central nervous system can be done using traditional diagnostic methods including: a physical exam, chest X-ray, CT scan, MRI, blood and urine test. Other possible diagnostic studies we offer:

  • Angiograms
  • Biopsies
  • Positron-emission tomography (PET) scans
  • Stereotactic needle biopsies
  • Surgical or open craniotomy biopsies
  • Lumbar punctures (spinal taps)

Brain & Spinal Cord Tumor Treatment Factors

Developing a treatment plan includes analyzing the location and size of your tumor, your medical condition and age and the stage of your cancer. Once we have developed your tailored treatment plan our board-certified oncologists, neurosurgeons and supportive care professionals will help guide you through the treatment process. When you work with the specialists at SSM Health Cancer Care you know you’re receiving the highest possible level of care through the most advanced cancer care technology. Make an appointment with SSM Health Cancer Care and learn more about your options today.

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