Brain and spine tumors are abnormal growths of cells in the brain or spine. These tumors can be either cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). Brain tumors can occur in any part of the brain and can affect a person's ability to think, move, and feel. Spine tumors can occur in the spinal cord or the bones of the spine. The prognosis for brain and spine tumors depends on several factors, including the type and stage of the tumor, the location of the tumor, and the person's age and overall health. Early diagnosis and treatment can improve the chances of a successful outcome.
Common symptoms of brain and spine tumors
- Changes in vision or hearing
- Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
- Weakness or numbness in the arms or legs
- Problems with balance or coordination
- Personality or behavior changes
However, it's important to note that these symptoms can also be caused by many other conditions, so it's crucial to seek medical attention from a St. Joseph Health neurologist if you're experiencing any of them.
Diagnosing a brain or spine tumor
- First, a primary care provider will typically perform a physical exam and ask about the patient's medical history and symptoms.
- Next, imaging tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans may be used to create detailed images of the brain or spine to look for any abnormalities or growths.
- If an abnormality is found, a biopsy may be performed to take a sample of the tissue and examine it under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous or non-cancerous.
- Further tests may also be done to determine the type and stage of the tumor, which can help guide treatment decisions.
Surgical treatment options for brain tumors
Our neurosurgeons are trained in some of the most advanced surgical techniques and tailor treatment plans specific to each patient. Whenever possible, we perform the most minimally invasive surgery option available. Our team employs preoperative and intraoperative brain mapping and advanced neuroimaging techniques to improve safety, precision, and outcomes.