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Brain Tumors, Primary

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It’s estimated that glial cell tumors, anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas account for about 38 percent of all primary brain tumors—or those that originate in the brain, rather than spread from elsewhere in the body—according to the National Cancer Institute.

What are primary brain tumors?

Brain tumors consist of masses of abnormal cells that have grown uncontrollably. Although brain tumors rarely spread to other parts of the body, most of them can spread through the brain tissue.

Who develops primary brain tumors?

Certain brain tumors are more likely to occur in children than adults, and vice versa.

What are the symptoms of primary brain tumors?

As brain tumors grow, they can press against, displace or destroy brain tissue. This can cause symptoms such as headaches; seizures or twitching; changes in speech, vision or hearing; problems balancing or walking; memory issues; mood or personality changes; nausea or vomiting; and numbness or tingling in the arms or legs.

How are primary brain tumors diagnosed?

Brain tumors may be diagnosed through various imaging methods, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT) or positron emission tomography (PET) scans, as well as through a biopsy, or the analysis of tissue samples taken from the tumor.

How are primary brain tumors treated?

Several factors need to be considered when determining treatment, such as the size, location and type of tumor, as well as individual health status. Treatment options may include surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS; such as Gamma Knife treatment offered at The Valley Hospital’s Gamma Knife Center, part of the hospital’s Institute for Brain and Spine Radiosurgery), radiation therapy and/or chemotherapy. Cancer symptoms can often be managed through medications and complementary therapies as well.

More than 100,000 patients have been treated with the Gamma Knife SRS for various brain tumors. Research studies have shown that SRS has improved patient outcomes compared to whole brain radiation therapy. SRS minimizes memory loss or other compromising symptoms that can be experienced with typical whole brain irradiation. The Valley Hospital’s Gamma Knife is designed for fast, efficient treatment of several types of brain tumors. In fact, no other technology can treat tumors in the brain with the same clinical outcome and speed as the Gamma Knife Icon, the latest and most advanced Gamma Knife technology.

Call the Gamma Knife Center at 201-634-5677 or complete the contact form for more information or to set up a consultation. Learn more about clinical trials for brain cancer.

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