A brain tumor is a formation of abnormal cells that can be classified as either benign or malignant (cancerous). Identifying a brain tumor early offers the best chance for successful treatment. The most common symptoms associated with brain cancer include:
Metastatic brain cancer is a secondary cancer that invades the brain after originating elsewhere in the body. In this case, cancer cells have escaped from a primary tumor and have reached the brain via blood vessels or the body’s lymphatic system. Symptoms for metastatic brain cancer include:
If you suspect that you or a loved one may have a brain tumor, you should seek medical care and receive a definitive diagnosis of the disease. There are tests and exams that can be done to identify brain tumors, including a neurological exam and imaging of the brain.
One common procedure is a computerized tomography (CT) scan, which uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of brain. Other scans include MRIs or fMRIs (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging), which are techniques that use a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the organs and tissues within the body. Your doctors may also recommend a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan that uses a radioactive substance called a tracer to help examine how organs are currently functioning.
To gain more information about what is causing symptoms, it may be necessary to perform a biopsy, in which a sample of tissue is tested to check if a tumor is benign or malignant, or a lumbar puncture, which requires fluid to be extracted from the spine for study.
Once diagnosed, one of our board-certified radiation oncologists will develop a custom-tailored plan for a non-invasive radiation therapy treatment that targets brain tumors with laser-point accuracy and sub-millimeter precision. CyberKnife treatment requires only one to five sessions, which are pain free and designed to minimize side effects. The CyberKnife System compensates for the slightest patient and tumor movements by tracking the location of the tumor with its innovative real-time imaging technology to ensure that radiation can be delivered on target of the tumor. Unlike conventional radiation treatments, the CyberKnife does not require invasive head frames or hospitalization.
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