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Brain & Spine Tumor Care

Call to learn more: (423) 206-9480

A tumor is a mass of abnormal cells that may or may not be cancerous, and can be especially harmful when located in the brain or spine. Every brain tumor is as unique as every patient. Some require no treatment, only watchful monitoring. Other tumors require an aggressive treatment plan. Treatment options may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or a combination of these approaches. 

If you've been told that you have a brain tumor, we understand you may be experiencing a wide range of emotions. The neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists and other specialists at CHI Memorial offer a personalized, patient-centered treatment approach to optimize your quality of life.

Leading-edge treatments

A patient’s function is always the highest priority throughout any surgical procedure on the brain. In the past, treating certain types of brain tumors, particularly those deep within the brain, would require a large incision, removing part of the skull and dissecting deep inside the brain’s critical pathways. Today, with the use of leading-edge technology and advanced surgical techniques, many patients can stay just one night in the hospital and quickly return to normal activities.  

What we treat

At CHI Memorial, our team is able to treat more than 120 different types of brain tumors including: 

  • Astrocytoma tumors which originate from a type of glial cell called astrocytes that support and nourish the neurons in the brain.
  • Brain metastases are tumors that have spread to the brain from cancer that originated in another part of the body. Most commonly, brain metastases develop from lung, breast, melanoma, kidney and colon cancers. 
  • Low grade glioma originates from the glial cells of the brain. These tumors can occur in any part of the brain but are most commonly found in the cerebral hemispheres. These tumors are slow-growing. 
  • High grade glioma originates from the glial cells of the brain and are more aggressive than low grade glioma tumors. These tumors grow rapidly. 
  • Glioblastoma is the most common type of primary brain tumor in adults and is more aggressive and invasive than low grade and high grade glioma. 
  • Ependymoma is a type of brain or spinal tumor that arises from ependymal cells - cells that line the ventricles (fluid-filled spaces) of the brain and the central canal of the spinal cord. These tumors are typically slow-growing. 
  • Medulloblastoma are malignant tumors and usually develop in the cerebellum, the part of the brain that controls movement and coordination. 
  • Meningioma grow from the meninges, the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. The tumors are usually slow-growing and can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
  • Acoustic neuroma are benign (noncancerous) tumors that develop in the ear and can affect hearing and balance. The majority of these tumors are slow-growing. 
  • Pituitary adenoma tumors develop on the pituitary gland and most are slow growing. They are typically benign (noncancerous), and approximately 1 in 10 people will develop a pituitary adenoma in their lifetime. Pituitary adenoma tumors are more common in people in their 30s or 40s. 
  • Craniopharyngioma are rare and benign (noncancerous) tumors that usually form near the pituitary gland and the hypothalamus. A slow-growing tumor, they do not spread to other parts of the brain or to other parts of the body. These tumors usually occur in children and young adults.
  • Skull tumors grow at the skull base, causing symptoms when they begin to put pressure on the brain. Because these tumors grow deep within the skull, they can impact critical blood vessels in the head, neck, brain and spinal cord. Using appropriate treatment is key to preserving speech, hearing, and eyesight. 
  • Orbital tumors grow in the structures around the eye, can be benign or cancerous and may be primary (meaning the tumor began there) or metastatic (meaning the tumor has spread from another part of the body). Because the eye is so delicate, a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of these conditions is critical to a successful outcome.
  • Spinal cord tumors develop within the spinal cord or surrounding membranes and can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
  • Spinal column tumors develop within the bones or the supporting structures of the spine including the vertebrae, discs, and ligaments. These tumors can be primary (originating in the spine) or metastatic (spreading to the spine from other parts of the body). The most common types of primary spinal column tumors include osteoma, osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, chordoma, and Ewing's sarcoma. The most common types of cancers that metastasize to the spine include breast, lung, prostate, and kidney cancers.

For more information about brain tumor care at CHI Memorial Neuroscience Institute, call (423) 206-9480.