What is a brain tumor?
A brain tumor is a lump of tissue caused by abnormal and/or uncontrolled cell growth. When you have a tumor, the part of the brain surrounding it may be damaged as well as the affected brain cells. Then the brain can’t do its job properly.
They may be primary (starting in the brain) or metastatic (traveling to the brain from another site in the body). All brain tumors are either benign (slow-growing, not cancerous) or malignant (growing quickly, cancerous). Brain tumors can cause serious damage even if they are labeled as benign. The damage will be related both to the type of tumor and to its location in the brain.
What causes symptoms?
Along with its location, the way a tumor grows can affect the symptoms you have. A tumor may affect the brain in one or more ways. It may:
- Destroy normal brain tissue.
- Compress normal brain tissue.
- Increase pressure within the brain.
- Excite brain cells and produce seizures.
- Cause bleeding in the brain.
- Block the normal flow of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that bathes the brain and spinal cord
What are the symptoms?
The most common symptoms of brain tumors are:
- Headaches that may be worse in the morning
- Trouble thinking, remembering, or talking, or changes in personality
- Vision, speech, or hearing problems
- Seizures or convulsions
- Paralysis, numbness, or weakness in one part or on one side of the body
- Loss of balance, lack of coordination, or problems walking
- Nausea and vomiting that may be worse in the morning
- Hormone problems (many types)
There are many different types of brain tumors with many different treatments and outcomes. Not all community-based health systems offer minimally invasive brain surgery options to patients. At Lakeland Health, these leading-edge techniques require a much smaller incision than traditional surgeries, potentially resulting in:
- Reduced disturbance to normal tissue
- Less blood loss
- Less postsurgical pain
- Faster recovery
- Shorter hospital stays
- Smaller scars
We also use CT- or MRI-guided neuro-navigation techniques. These allow for the smallest incisions possible and the localization of tissue targets with maximum precision.