Whether benign or malignant, any brain tumor type is dangerous. A mass or abnormal growth of cells in the confined space of your skull requires precision and skill to diagnose accurately and to treat.
The experienced specialists at the Brain Tumor Center — a collaboration of Norton Neuroscience Institute and Norton Cancer Institute — are at the leading edge of rapidly developing improvements in brain tumor treatment. They have the skill and experience to pinpoint the cause of your brain tumor and devise a customized treatment plan to eliminate the tumor while preserving healthy brain tissue.
Our specialists and other providers treat the whole person, not just the tumor, and are ready to help with more than treatment. Same-day appointments and sophisticated multidisciplinary care are some of the reasons more brain tumor patients trust the Brain Tumor Center with their care than any other provider in Louisville or Southern Indiana.
Your case will be evaluated by a multidisciplinary group of board-certified specialists who bring a range of viewpoints to every case. They’ll discuss treatment options and arrive at a plan that is right for you.
Common Brain Tumor Types
The most common type of brain tumor results from cancer spreading from other parts of the body — often the lungs — to invade the brain and central nervous system. These cancers are called metastatic brain cancers.
Tumors that originate in the brain or central nervous system are considered primary brain tumors and may or may not be cancerous.
Common brain tumor types include:
- Metastatic brain cancers
- Glioblastoma (GBM)
- Germ Cell Tumors
- Central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma
- Acoustic neuroma
- Pituitary tumors
- Spine and spinal cord tumors
- Skull base tumors
Brain Tumor Symptoms
There are some common brain tumor symptoms. If you experience any of these, consult your primary care physician.
- Headaches are one of the most common symptoms. Brain tumor patients sometimes describe their headaches as steady, but different from a migraine and resistant to aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Seizures often are the first indication of a brain tumor.
- New weakness or problems with balance and coordination.
- Memory loss typically is noticed as difficulty with short-term memory.
- Depression goes far beyond just feeling down. Depression is persistent and interferes with your daily life.
- Mood swings can be a brain tumor symptom.
- Personality changes can be dramatic and affect behavior and outlook.
Brain Tumor Diagnosis
The Brain Tumor Center uses advanced tools to determine a precise diagnosis that will help chart a path for your customized treatment plan.
Computed tomography (CT) scan – This test collects X-rays from multiple angles. The images are then combined to form a 3D image. The CT scan can measure a tumor and, using contrast dye, can provide greater detail. CT scans are also useful for patients who can’t have a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan because of metal such as a pacemaker in the body.
MRI – Unlike a CT scan, an MRI uses magnetic fields rather than X-rays to collect detailed images. An MRI provides greater detail than a CT scan and, if suitable for the patient, is preferred for diagnosing a brain tumor.
fMRI – During a functional MRI (fMRI), the patient will perform specific tasks that will be reflected in the brain. This test helps the surgeon plan the operation so as to avoid damaging healthy, functional parts of the brain while removing a tumor.
Biopsy – This procedure removes a small piece of tissue for examination and is the only definitive way to diagnose a brain tumor. Biopsy can be performed while removing the tumor or as an intermediate step if surgical removal isn’t possible because of the location or patient’s health.