Inova's Brain and Spine Tumor team provides comprehensive management and treatment of all forms of brain, pituitary and spine tumors. This unique, multidisciplinary program treats people with both primary and metastatic tumors. Our neurosurgeons, with advance/fellowship training in treatment of tumors of brain, pituitary gland and spine, are experts in treatment of the most difficult cases.
There are many different kinds of tumors that can affect the brain and nervous system. Although not all are malignant, even a benign tumor requires prompt evaluation by a neurosurgeon who specializes in oncology, due to the tumor’s location.
Until recently, surgical intervention for spinal tumors was considered the “last resource option” when all other treatments had failed. In some cases, surgery was not considered at all. Two decades of research have shown that, in certain types of tumors, surgical intervention may be the only treatment option.
Each case is unique. To ensure the most appropriate treatment, it’s best to consult a surgeon with advanced training in the evaluation of brain and spine tumors.
If a tumor is discovered before symptoms appear, one approach could be to simply monitor the tumor with periodic MRI or CT scans. If the tumor is benign (non-cancerous) and not causing symptoms, surgical removal or treatment isn’t always necessary.
If a tumor is cancerous or causing pressure on the spinal cord or brain, treatment can include:
- Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling
- Surgery to remove part or all of the tumor
- Surgery to relieve pressure on the brain and spine
- Radiation therapy to reduce the tumor’s volume
- Chemotherapy to destroy cancer cells or prevent them from growing