Brain Tumors

Brain Cancer & Brain Tumors

Characterized by a loss of bone density, osteoporosis weakens bones and increases the risk of fracture. One of the most common osteoporosis complications is vertebral compression fractures (VCFs), which affect hundreds of thousands of U.S. patients every year. VCFs can be very painful, but in other cases, people believe symptoms to be part of the normal aging process. Whether painful or not, untreated compression fractures can lead to additional fractures, spinal deformity, and gradual loss of day-to-day function.

Types of Brain Tumors

  • Primary tumors: Brain tumors that originate in the brain tissue, brain lining, skull, nerves, or pituitary gland
  • Metastatic tumors: Tumors that originate from cancers in other parts of the body and spread to the brain
  • Benign tumors: Slow-growing tumors that do not spread or damage other areas of the body
  • Malignant tumors: Cancerous growths that spread aggressively and damage critical body functions

Grades of Brain Tumors

Sometimes, tumors are graded by factors like the abnormal character of cells, rate of tumor growth, potential for spreading, and tumor blood supply.

  • Grade I: Benign tumors with excellent survival rates
  • Grade II: Slow-growing tumors that may invade other areas or recur
  • Grade III: Faster-growing, invasive tumors with more abnormal cells
  • Grade IV: Malignant tumors that proliferate and spread widely

As tumors progress, they are sometimes reclassified to reflect changes and growth.

Symptoms of Brain Tumors

Brain tumor symptoms are varied and may appear gradually. They are usually caused by pressure on the brain, tissue damage, a build-up of cerebrospinal fluid around the brain, or a blockage of the fluid’s circulation. Brain tumors cause mental changes that may produce symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Unsteadiness & problems with motor skills
  • Difficulty communicating
  • Cognitive & memory problems
  • Changes in temperament or behavior

Treatment for Brain Tumors

Although research promises continued innovation in brain tumor treatment, there are three main types of treatment currently in use. These include:

  • Surgery to remove all or part of the tumor: Surgical removal of a brain tumor depends on the location of the tumor. A tumor can be successfully removed if it has not grown around critical structures like arteries that supply blood to the brain or invaded areas of the brain essential to functions like speech or movement.
  • Radiation therapy: This treatment involves using a machine to direct a beam of radiation or destructive energy at the tumor.  The radiation damages the tumor, causing it to shrink or stop growing.
  • Chemotherapy: Administering certain medications can cause brain tumors to shrink. Newer treatments actually use the body’s own immune system or hormonal system to shrink tumors. These new drugs produce better results and fewer side effects than older chemotherapy treatments.

Patient-Centered Care for Brain Tumors

The diagnosis of a brain tumor is distressing for you and your family, but advances in research and treatment are steadily improving prognoses and outcomes. Our team at Princeton Brain, Spine & Sports Medicine specializes in the latest neurosurgical techniques to offer our patients the most up-to-date options. We also believe informed patients and families make the best decisions about care, and we provide informative videos and articles on our website. The entire staff at PBSSM is focused on your health and your care. 

For patient-centered neurological and spinal treatment call us at 215.741.3141 in Pennsylvania, 609.921.9001 in New Jersey, or contact PBSSM online to schedule an appointment.

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