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You will face many hard decisions if a loved one or you have been diagnosed with a brain tumor or cancer. Including several questions like where should you go for treatment? What are the available treatment options? How to maintain your quality of life? We have tried to describe these concers, the types, and possible treatment, which will help you decide.

What Are Brain Tumors and Cancers?

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Abnormal cell growth in the brain is called brain tumor or cancer. There are various types of brain tumors, some of which are non-cancerous, while some are cancerous. And they are also tumors that begin in the brain (primary brain tumors) and those that spread from other body parts (secondary or metastatic brain tumors). Anyone can get brain cancer or tumor, and the exact cause is still not known. Some risk factors are exposure to radiation and family history. Treatment depends on the location, stage, size, and type of brain tumor, and the treatment options are radiotherapy, surgery, and chemotherapy.

What Are the Types of Brain Tumors?

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Primary Brain Tumors:

  • Gangliocytoma - A rare type of brain tumor that originates from mature neurons.
  • Meningiomas - This tumor starts in the meninges (membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). About 10 to 15 % of all brain tumors are this type, and it is the most common benign brain tumor.
  • Craniopharyngiomas - These tumors originate in some part of the pituitary gland and are located deep in the brain.
  • Pineocytomas - These tumors develop from the pineal cells. They are well-defined and slow-growing.
  • Schwannomas - These are primary tumors that originate in the Schwann cells (cells that assist in nerve impulses).
  • Gliomas - These tumors form in the glia (a type of cell in the brain or spinal cord), and almost 78 % of all adult cancerous brain tumors are this type. The subtypes include:
    • Ependymomas.
    • Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM).
    • Astrocytomas.
    • Brainstem Glioma.
    • Medulloblastomas.
    • Oligodendrogliomas.

Secondary Brain Tumors:

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The following types of cancer can metastasis and result in secondary brain tumors:

  • Breast cancer.
  • Lung cancer.
  • Melanoma.
  • Colon cancer.
  • Kidney cancer.

What Are the Treatment Options for Brain Tumors and Cancers?

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Experts at MSKCC are dedicated to caring for people with brain tumors and are working hard to find new treatment options for inoperable and aggressive brain tumors. Specialists who are experienced in surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, rehabilitation, and maintaining the quality of life will work closely to come up with a customized treatment plan to ensure the best outcome possible. MSKCC neurosurgeons use the most advanced surgical technologies like intraoperative MRI scanning, brain mapping, and stereotactic radiosurgery to help their patients.

MSKCC’s Surgeons and Experts

  • Ingo K. Mellinghoff, MD, FACP
    Ingo K. Mellinghoff, MD, FACP Clinical Expertise: Brain Tumors; Drug Development
  • Yesne Alici, MD
    Yesne Alici, MD Clinical Expertise: Psychiatric Care of Geriatric Cancer Patients
  • Edward K. Avila, DO
    Edward K. Avila, DO Clinical Expertise: Epilepsy; Primary Brain Tumors; Metastatic Brain Tumors & Secondary Brain Cancer; Spine Tumors & Spinal Cancer; Clinical Neurophysiology; General Neurology
  • Christopher A. Barker, MD
    Christopher A. Barker, MD Clinical Expertise: Skin Cancer (Melanoma, Squamous Cell Carcinoma, Basal Cell Carcinoma, Merkel Cell Carcinoma, Dermatofibrosarcoma Protuberans, Cutaneous Angiosarcoma, Kaposi Sarcoma); Keloid Scar; Eye Cancer; Breast Cancer; Lymphoma
  • Kathryn Beal, MD
    Kathryn Beal, MD Clinical Expertise: Metastatic Brain Tumors & Secondary Brain Cancer ; Primary Brain Tumors; Acoustic Neuroma (Vestibular Schwannoma); Pituitary Tumors; Skull Base Tumors