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Brain Tumors: Types, Symptoms & Treatment

A brain tumor is a mass of excessive cell growth in the brain. This tumor can put pressure on the nerves and tissues of the brain and spinal cord, often interfering with normal function.

SSM Health Neurosciences offers the most advanced diagnostic tools to perform a variety of interventions. Combining clinical skill with sophisticated technology, our doctors can:

  • Pinpoint the exact location of your tumor
  • Determine its growth, 
  • Conduct tissue biopsies
  • Remove tumors while protecting nearby tissue
  • Detect recurring brain tumors.

Working closely with you, our neurologists and brain surgeons offer comprehensive care, utilizing the least invasive techniques to achieve the best results.

Types of Brain Tumors

There are many types of brain tumors. Some are cancerous while others are benign. Tumors that originate in the brain are considered primary tumors. They are usually the result of out-of-control cell growth in the surrounding and supporting nerve cells. In very rare cases, genetic disease can cause these tumors.

Brain tumors that originate from elsewhere in the body are metastatic, meaning they began as cancer elsewhere. These cancerous tumors are usually rapid-growing and invasive.

Signs & Symptoms of Brain Tumors

Signs and symptoms of a brain tumor can be very general, often mimicking less serious conditions. They can also be more serious and specific depending on your situation. Our brain specialists encourage you to look out for any number of signs and symptoms, including:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Sensory changes
  • Personality or memory changes
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Drowsiness
  • Sleep problems
  • Changes in your ability to work or perform daily activities
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills
  • Vision changes

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to talk with your primary care doctor. Regular, annual exams are a great time to discuss concerns you may have. After speaking with your doctor, they may recommend additional testing or provide you with a referral to an SSM Health Neurosciences specialist.

Treating Brain Tumors

New and sophisticated techniques have led to additional advanced in the treatment of brain tumors. Tumors that were once inoperable can now be accessed and removed, sometimes completely, and often without impaired neurologic function.

The standard treatments for brain tumors are:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

In general, radiation and chemotherapy treatments are used as a secondary treatment for tumors that cannot be managed with surgery alone.

Stereotactic Radiosurgery

This treatment option delivers a high concentration of radiation directly to the tumor in an effort to stop its growth. Stereotactic radiosurgery delivers only a minimal dose of radiation to the surrounding tissue, preserving the healthy tissue. This procedure offers new hope to patients, especially those with previously inoperable or hard-to-reach tumors.

CyberKnife® Radiosurgery

SSM Health Neurosciences offers pin-point precision with the use of CyberKnife® treatment. Because radiosurgery has such a dramatic effect, the changes are considered surgical, although no incision is made. What this means is no blood loss, no anesthesia and fewer complications than traditional surgery.

Receiving a brain tumor diagnosis can feel overwhelming. With the help of experts at SSM Health Neurosciences, you can relax, knowing your care is in great hands. Our specialists will work with you to better understand your tumor and develop a treatment option specific to your health needs.

Begin your healing journey today and schedule an appointment with an SSM Health Neurosciences specialist.

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