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Types of tumors

  • Tumors of the brain can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). Even benign tumors can cause serious problems since they can press against or damage brain tissue or the spine as they grow.

    What is a brain tumor?

    Brain tumors have different patterns and treatments in adults and children.

    A brain tumor can be cancerous (malignant) or be non-cancerous (benign). Even a benign tumor in the brain or spine is a serious problem because it can damage the central nervous system as it grows and increases brain pressure.

    What is a metastatic brain tumor?

    metastatic brain tumor is cancer that has traveled into the brain from another part of the body.

    Many types of cancer can cause a metastatic brain tumor. Cancer commonly spreads to the brain from the lungs, breast, kidneys or skin (melanoma). Metastatic brain tumors are more common in adults than in children.

    What is a skull base tumor?

    The skull base lies behind the eyes and nose, and slopes under the brain to the back of the head. Openings in the skull base allow passage of the spinal cord, multiple nerves and major blood vessels between the brain and the rest of the body. Skull base tumors are considered rare. Specific expertise, available at Allina Health, is needed for treatment.

    We care for patients with tumors and conditions that include:

    • meningiomas
    • angiofibroma
    • acoustic neuromas
    • cranialpharyngioma
    • pituitary adenomas
    • chondrosarcomas
    • CSF leaks
    • epidermoids
    • glomus tumors
    • cholesterol granulomas
    • chordomas
    • vascular loop syndromes
    • encephalocele
    • problems pertaining to the facial nerve

  • Source: Virginia Piper Cancer Institute and John Nasseff Neuroscience Institute
    Reviewed by: John E. Trusheim, MD, medical director of neuro-oncology, Virginia Piper Cancer Institute
    First published: 06/28/2016
    Last reviewed: 06/01/2016

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