Brain Tumor

A brain tumor, or glioma, is a mass of abnormal cells located in the brain. The most common types of brain tumors are metastatic (secondary) tumors that spread to the brain from tumors that started elsewhere in the body. Tumors that originate inside the brain or spine are called primary brain tumors. These can be benign (slow growing and unlikely to recur) or malignant brain tumors (fast growing, likely to recur, and associated with brain cancer). Some types of brain tumors – such as glioblastomas – have cells that grow incredibly quickly. But even benign tumors can be dangerous if they affect vital brain and nervous system functions.

Overview

Overview

Brain Tumor Symptoms

Signs of a brain tumor will vary depending on the size of the tumor, how fast it’s growing and where it’s located inside the brain. Brain tumor symptoms may include:

  • Sudden or severe brain tumor headaches
  • Seizures
  • Weakness, tingling or numbness in the arms or legs (often on one side)
  • Confusion, or changes in behavior or personality
  • Changes in vision 
  • Changes in balance
  • Hearing loss
  • Difficulty speaking or understanding speech
  • Difficulty using fine motor skills

Diagnosis

To make a brain tumor diagnosis, your doctor will first ask about your symptoms. He or she may recommend an MRI or a CT scan to get a better view of the tumor’s location and how it might be affecting surrounding tissue.

Find a Specialist

Our search tool can help you find the right neuroscience specialist.

Treatment Options

Treatment Options

Dr. Amin Kassam, vice president for Neurosciences at Aurora Health Care, explains the Expanded Endonasal Approach, a minimally invasive surgery technique.

Brain tumor treatment is available at Aurora locations throughout eastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois, and may include:

  • Observation, to see if any intervention is necessary.
  • The Expanded Endonasal Approach (EEA), a minimally invasive procedure in which the tumor is removed through the nasal passages, resulting in no incisions, a shorter hospital stay and faster recovery than conventional surgery.
  • Open surgery with a minimally invasive craniotomy using an enhanced optical system, BrainPath® and robotic arm. 
  • CyberKnife® stereotactic radiosurgery, a non-invasive, robotic system that can deliver high radiation doses with pinpoint accuracy. This treatment is commonly known as Gamma Knife surgery.
  • Embolization with a liquid embolic agent such as Onyx or nBCA glue.

Find a Specialist

Our search tool can help you find the right neuroscience specialist.

Your Life Your Health

myAurora makes it easy to manage your care online, anytime.

Your Life Your Health

myAurora makes it easy to manage your care online, anytime.