Brain Tumors

Providing immediate and long-term therapies and treatments to reduce or remove your tumor

When abnormal tissue (tumor) grows within or around your brain, it may put you at risk for serious complications. The rigid bony structures of your skull and spine house your central nervous system.

Brain tumor growth can put pressure on these nerves and tissues, and this may interfere with your normal function.

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 350,000 people in the U.S. live with a primary brain tumor. Brain tumors are the most common form of solid tumor in children. Physicians diagnose more than 3,000 cases of brain and spinal tumors annually in children under age 20. In most cases, primary brain tumors (tumors that originate in the brain) have an unknown cause.

Brain Tumor Types

You may have one of many different types of brain tumors, cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). In some cases, genetic diseases cause primary brain tumors.

Metastatic tumors originate from somewhere else in the body and spread to the brain. They result from another known cancer in your body, such as lung cancer, lymphoma or melanoma that spread (metastasize) to your brain.

Symptoms

The symptoms you experience with a brain tumor depend on the tumor’s location, type, size and rate of growth. Common symptoms of brain tumors include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Changes in motor function, balance or behavioral and cognitive issues

Overview

According to the National Institutes of Health, more than 350,000 people in the U.S. live with a primary brain tumor. Brain tumors are the most common form of solid tumor in children. Physicians diagnose more than 3,000 cases of brain and spinal tumors annually in children under age 20. In most cases, primary brain tumors (tumors that originate in the brain) have an unknown cause.

Brain Tumor Types

You may have one of many different types of brain tumors, cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). In some cases, genetic diseases cause primary brain tumors.

Metastatic tumors originate from somewhere else in the body and spread to the brain. They result from another known cancer in your body, such as lung cancer, lymphoma or melanoma that spread (metastasize) to your brain.

Symptoms

The symptoms you experience with a brain tumor depend on the tumor’s location, type, size and rate of growth. Common symptoms of brain tumors include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vision problems
  • Hearing problems
  • Changes in motor function, balance or behavioral and cognitive issues

At IU Health, Neurology & Neurosurgery physicians use a team approach that draws on the expertise of:

  • Neurologists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Neuro-oncologists
  • Neuropathologists
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Neuroradiologists

Your physicians will work with the IU School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health to deliver specialized, individualized care and leading-edge research.

Brain tumors, cancerous or not, need special care because of their complexity. Highly trained IU Health physicians will provide immediate and long-term therapies and treatments to reduce or remove your tumor and preserve your nerve function.

IU Health physicians will provide you with state-of-the-art treatments that deliver targeted doses of radiation and use the latest surgical techniques available for you.

To deliver the best outcomes, IU Health physicians will perform comprehensive diagnostic tests to fully understand your condition. Your treatment plan will follow and may include medicines, neurosurgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Diagnostic tests and treatments may include a neurological exam. Your physician may use a variety of imaging and other tests to locate, diagnose and monitor your tumor during treatment. These tests may include:

Your physician may prescribe a variety of medicines to treat symptoms related to your brain tumor. These can include anticonvulsants to reduce seizures, pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling, and anti-depressants for anxiety and depression.

Neurosurgery

  • Intraoperative MRI scanners allow your neurosurgeon to perform more precise operations.
  • The Zeiss OPMI Pentero is a neurosurgery microscope that uses intraoperative florescence to give your surgeon a clearer picture of blood vessels.
  • The NICO Myriad device is used to remove hard-to-reach brain tumors.

Treatment

At IU Health, Neurology & Neurosurgery physicians use a team approach that draws on the expertise of:

  • Neurologists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Neuro-oncologists
  • Neuropathologists
  • Neuropsychologists
  • Neuroradiologists

Your physicians will work with the IU School of Medicine and Riley Hospital for Children at IU Health to deliver specialized, individualized care and leading-edge research.

Brain tumors, cancerous or not, need special care because of their complexity. Highly trained IU Health physicians will provide immediate and long-term therapies and treatments to reduce or remove your tumor and preserve your nerve function.

IU Health physicians will provide you with state-of-the-art treatments that deliver targeted doses of radiation and use the latest surgical techniques available for you.

To deliver the best outcomes, IU Health physicians will perform comprehensive diagnostic tests to fully understand your condition. Your treatment plan will follow and may include medicines, neurosurgery, radiation and chemotherapy.

Diagnostic tests and treatments may include a neurological exam. Your physician may use a variety of imaging and other tests to locate, diagnose and monitor your tumor during treatment. These tests may include:

Your physician may prescribe a variety of medicines to treat symptoms related to your brain tumor. These can include anticonvulsants to reduce seizures, pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling, and anti-depressants for anxiety and depression.

Neurosurgery

  • Intraoperative MRI scanners allow your neurosurgeon to perform more precise operations.
  • The Zeiss OPMI Pentero is a neurosurgery microscope that uses intraoperative florescence to give your surgeon a clearer picture of blood vessels.
  • The NICO Myriad device is used to remove hard-to-reach brain tumors.

Patient Stories for Brain Tumors

National Brain Tumor Societ

With a focus on research funding and public advocacy, this nonprofit also offers patients and their families information about treatments and clinical trials.

National Cancer Institute

This division of the National Institutes of Health studies different types of cancers, including brain tumors. It offers information on the causes, symptoms, treatments and clinical trials for brain tumors.

Resources

National Brain Tumor Societ

With a focus on research funding and public advocacy, this nonprofit also offers patients and their families information about treatments and clinical trials.

National Cancer Institute

This division of the National Institutes of Health studies different types of cancers, including brain tumors. It offers information on the causes, symptoms, treatments and clinical trials for brain tumors.