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A brain tumor is a mass or growth in your brain. There are several types of brain tumors and they can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). A tumor could begin in the brain (primary brain tumor) or could be metastatic or secondary, meaning that cancer spread from another area of the body.

What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?

The symptoms of a brain tumor will vary drastically depending on the size, location, and type of tumor. Here are some signs and symptoms that you may experience:

  • Frequent headaches or a change in the pattern of regular headaches
  • Headaches that become more severe
  • Difficulty talking
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of sensation in arms or legs
  • Blurred vision or loss of peripheral vision
  • Confusion in normal matters
  • Behavior and personality changes
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty hearing

You should make an appointment with a doctor if you have persistent symptoms that are concerning.

How are brain tumors treated?

Your treatment options will vary depending on numerous factors:

  • Size, type, and location of the tumor
  • Whether the tumor is applying pressure on certain areas of the brain
  • If the tumor has spread to other areas of the body
  • Side effects that may occur
  • The patient’s overall health and preferences for treatment

Brain tumors are often treated with surgery. They require a multidisciplinary or team approach for their treatment. The best surgical team will involve physicians from several different areas, including neuro-oncologists, pathologists, and anesthesiologists. Outside of the surgical team, your treatment may involve other professionals as well, like social workers, counselors, nutritionists, physical therapists, and others.

Brain tumors can have a wide effect on every aspect of your life, requiring the need for these professionals in your ongoing recovery.

Additional treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and target therapy.

Dr. Dickinson is at the forefront of technological advances for surgery on brain tumors, including radiosurgery and image-guided stereotactic surgery.

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