What are Brain Tumors & Brain Cancer?
A brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in the brain. Brain cancer is commonly referred to as a brain tumor, yet not all brain tumors are cancerous. Brain cancer that begins in the cells of the brain is called primary brain cancer as opposed to brain cancer that begins elsewhere in the body and travels to the brain which is metastatic bran cancer. Brain tumors account for one in every 100 cancers diagnosed annually in the United States, or 30 adults out of 100,000, but nearly half of all brain tumors are non-cancerous, slow growing and respond well to treatment. The causes of brain cancer are generally unknown but may have something to do with a person’s genes or environment, or both.
Some of the most common types of brain cancer include:
- Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma)
- Brain metastases
- Choroid plexus carcinoma
- Embryonal tumors
Symptoms of Brain Tumors & Brain Cancer
Symptoms produced by brain tumors depend on their location, size, rate of growth and stage. Among other symptoms, brain cancer can cause severe headaches, lack of balance, nausea and vomiting, memory problems, seizures, eyesight issues like double vision, numbness in arms and legs and muscle jerking. Diagnosing brain tumors usually involves a neurological exam, brain scan (CT or MRI) and a biopsy, if possible. Depending on symptoms, doctors may perform other tests to help confirm the diagnosis and rule out other conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, benign cysts Pseudotumor Cerebri, which has symptoms that mimic a brain tumor, but is not brain cancer.
Brain Tumor & Brain Cancer Treatment in Tampa Bay
Treatment for brain tumors typically involves surgery, and often surgical removal and continued monitoring may be the only treatment needed. For other brain cancers, surgery may not be the best or a viable option, and chemotherapy and radiation therapy are often used to help shrink the tumor, slow its growth and/or prevent it from coming back. External beam radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery and proton therapy are some of the radiation therapies used to treat brain tumors.
Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology offers several types of radiation therapy to treat brain cancer and brain tumors, including intensity modulated radiation therapy, image guided radiation therapy, and CyberKnife® radiotherapy. We strive to provide brain cancer and brain tumor patients with thorough and caring brain treatment, close to home, using the latest technology.
Contact Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology today for more information about brain cancer, our brain cancer specialists and brain cancer treatment options. Tampa Bay Radiation Oncology has multiple Florida facilities located in the Tampa Bay area in Tampa and Brandon.