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In This Section Texas Health Fort Worth
Patient Education

Brain Tumors

Brain Tumor
What is a brain tumor? A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue found inside the skull. Noncancerous tumors are referred to as benign and cancerous tumors are called malignant. Whether identified as benign or malignant, tumors can push against the sensitive tissue in the brain and disrupt or destroy function.

Symptoms of brain tumors include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Vision or hearing problems
  • Behavioral and cognitive problems
  • Motor problems
  • Balance problems

Diagnosis
Accurate diagnosis of a brain tumor requires a formal neurological examination by a physician, as well as the use of imaging tests such as CT or MRI scans. Appropriate management and treatment of a brain tumor requires evaluation by a board-certified neurosurgeon.

Additional studies such as angiography, EEG, or lumbar puncture may be required to determine the appropriate diagnosis. A surgical biopsy performed by a physician to obtain a piece of the tumor may be required to make an accurate diagnosis and to ascertain the best treatment plan.

Treatment
Simple observation, surgical removal, radiation therapy and chemotherapy are all options for treating brain tumors. Some tumors traditionally treated with surgery may now be treated by a physician with a new procedure called radiosurgery. Other tumors may require a combination of therapies for appropriate treatment.

Image-guided neurosurgery is a state-of-the-art surgical option that helps neurosurgeons improve brain tumor removal by using smaller incisions that minimize disruption to surrounding normal tissue.

Many tumors that were once considered inoperable may now be treated with cranial base surgical techniques. Cranial base surgery is a new subspecialty within the field of neurosurgery. The cranial base neurosurgeon has extensive training in state-of-the-art surgical techniques that aid in more complete tumor removal and treatment of more complex vascular and tumor lesions.

The use of tiny viewing scopes introduced into various parts of the body has revolutionized many surgical therapies, including neurosurgery. In some neurosurgery cases, large incisions once required to remove lesions have been replaced with small incisions that allow physicians to insert tiny endoscopes into the brain to remove a mass, minimizing discomfort and the risk to surrounding healthy structures. A neuroendoscopic surgeon can determine whether this technology is appropriate for your condition.

For a physician referral, call 1-877-THR-WELL (1-877-847-9355).

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