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The skull is composed of bones and cartilage that form the face and the cranium, which surrounds the brain. The skull base is a crowded and complicated area with openings that the spinal cord, many blood vessels, and nerves all pass through.

There are several different types of skull base tumors:

  • Cysts that develop from birth
  • Growths caused by infections
  • Pituitary tumors. The pituitary gland sits behind the nose and eyes
  • Meningiomas. These tumors are often benign and grow from the meninges, the tissue that covers the brain and lies between the brain and skull
  • Chordomas. This is a slow-growing bone tumor most often found at the base of the skull
  • Craniopharyngiomas, growths that occur near the pituitary gland

You may have many possible symptoms from a growth or abnormality in the skull base area. Symptoms will depend on the size, type, and location of the growth or abnormality, and may include:

  • Facial pain
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Visual problems
  • Numbness
  • Weakness of the face
  • Hearing loss or ringing in the ears
  • Nasal congestion or frequent sinus infections