Also known as: malignant brain tumors, benign brain tumors, primary brain tumors, metastatic brain tumors.
What are brain tumors?
The term brain tumor refers to an unusual growth of tissue seen in the brain irrespective of the nature and cause of the growth. Primary tumors of the brain may be benign or non-cancerous and be discovered incidentally or cause symptoms, while others are cancerous (malignant). Any tumor that starts in another part of the body and spreads to the brain, is known as a metastatic tumor. It may be stated that brain tumors are one of the most common tumors seen in the pediatric population.
What causes brain tumors?
While the exact etiology of brain tumors is not known, our knowledge of the factors predisposing to brain tumors is improving. Brain tumors typically occur due to a mutation in the DNA in the cells of the brain. This becomes more likely as people age, if they have a family history of brain tumors, or due to environmental exposures such as radiation. Some children may have a predilection to develop tumors of the brain.
What are the symptoms of brain tumors?
While some brain tumors might not cause any symptoms, others can lead to increasing symptoms such as headaches; difficulties with balance, speech, hearing or vision; nausea; confusion; personality changes; seizures or loss of sensation or movement.
What are brain tumor care options?
There are several treatment options for brain tumors based on their type or severity. Surgery has now become very safe and can be used to remove the brain tumor. If the tumor is cancerous, additional therapies such as radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted drug therapy and others can be used to try to rid the body of cancer.
Reviewed by: Gregory W Hornig, MD
This page was last updated on: December 18, 2020 04:34 PM
Patient Success Stories
Almudena was only two years old when she was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. Her mother Claudia first noticed there was something wrong when Almudena was experiencing excessive thirst, was having difficulty seeing, and was losing weight. She was referred to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital where she underwent chemotherapy for three months but the tumor was still growing and it needed to be removed.
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Intraoperative MRI (iMRI)
The iMRI supports the hospital’s neurosurgeons in maximizing resection of abnormal brain tissue.
Intraoperative Brain Mapping
Intraoperative brain mapping is a form of brain surgery performed while the patient is awake. It is done for patients with tumors or lesions near critical functional brain regions and require the patient to be responsive and able to communicate with the surgeon during the procedure.
A surgical opening made in the skull to have access to the brain.