Tumor Center Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers to CNSI Tumor Center frequently asked questions.

What are brain and spine tumors?

Brain and spine tumors are abnormal growths that develop in or around the spinal cord and brain. The growths may develop slowly and can be removed by surgery, or may spread quickly to other areas and are difficult to remove. Brain and spine tumors may attack healthy cells and tissue, causing certain symptoms and affecting normal bodily function.

What causes brain and spine tumors?

While some causes of brain and spine tumors are still unknown, researchers continue to conduct studies and clinical research trials to further understanding in this area and develop new forms of treatment.

What are some signs of brain and spine tumors?

Brain and spine tumors can develop in various areas of the spinal cord and brain, near blood vessels and nerves that perform various functions. Symptoms of a brain or spine tumor vary depending on the size, type, and location of the growth. Common symptoms include headache, hearing or vision problems, and difficulty walking or maintaining balance.

How are brain and spine tumors diagnosed?

A physician will want to know more about the symptoms you are experiencing, and will conduct a physical examination and certain diagnostic tests to determine if you have a brain or spine tumor. Tests may include blood or urine screens, or imaging tests such as CTs and/or MRIs.

How are brain and spine tumors treated?

In many cases, surgery is the first line of treatment. The board-certified surgeon at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute’s Tumor Center employs the most minimally invasive procedures when possible. When direct access is needed to treat a brain tumor, specialists utilize an awake craniotomy for tumors situated in an area of the brain that controls essential bodily functions like language. The Clinical Neuroscience Institute’s Tumor Center is one of few centers in the country to use ROSA™ Brain, a minimally invasive robotic surgical assistant used to enhance the safety and reliability of neurological procedures.

What is the difference between primary and secondary tumors?

Primary brain tumors start in the brain and secondary brain tumors (metastatic brain tumors) start in another part of the body and spread to the brain. Both types can be either benign, non-cancerous, or malignant.

What types of radiation are used to treat brain tumors?

Intensity modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), deploys radiation to a brain tumor from different directions with high precision; this prevents radiation exposure to healthy tissues surrounding the tumor. Stereotactic radiosurgery is similar to IMRT, only fewer treatments. Whole brain radiation sends radiation to the entire brain; this can be used to treat multiple tumors.

Why should patients choose CNSI’s Tumor Center for their care?

The board-certified, fellowship-trained physician and experienced providers at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute’s Tumor Center are a leader in the region in brain and spine tumor diagnosis and treatment. Our team of skilled physicians and professional staff employ advanced diagnostic tools and comprehensive treatment methods in caring for brain and spine tumor patients. The care team at the Clinical Neuroscience Institute’s Tumor Center is dedicated to the multidisciplinary, individualized care of our patients, and committed to helping each one manage his or her condition with professionalism and compassion.