Brain and Spinal Tumors

Tumors are abnormal growths of tissue that may occur in the brain space or spinal column. As they grow the tumors compress the brain or spinal nerves. Tumors may be benign (non-malignant) or cancerous (malignant) and treatment will depend on both the type of tumor and how fast it is growing.

Neurosurgery Brain and Spinal Tumors Photo

Symptoms usually get worse over time and include:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Changes in vision or hearing
  • Dizziness or loss of balance
  • Changes in behavior or ability to think clearly

Tumors are diagnosed using advanced imaging equipment like CAT scans and MRI. They are sometimes sampled by biopsy to determine whether they are benign or cancerous. The type and growth rate of cancerous tumors will help determine the type of treatment.

Surgical removal of the tumor may resolve a benign tumor. Cancerous tumors may require surgery and/or additional treatment.

Tumors of the pituitary gland at the base of the skull may cause disease by creating imbalances in hormones in the bloodstream. Others may compress the normal pituitary gland or other nearby tissues, including the optic nerve, and causing loss of peripheral vision. Surgical removal of the tumor is often performed endoscopically using a camera through the nose.