Monday, August 31, 2009

Treatment of Tumors at the Berman Brain & Spine Institute

by James E. Conway, M.D.
Director, Cerebrovascular Neurosurgery, and Director, Skull Base Neurosurgery,
Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute
Department of Neurosurgery, Sinai Hospital

The recent deaths of columnist Robert Novak and Senator Edward Kennedy from brain tumors have brought forth many questions about the disease. Both Mr. Novak and Senator Kennedy were diagnosed with primary, malignant, grade 4 gliomas in the summer of 2008.

Numerous types of tumors may affect the brain, including benign and malignant tumors such as gliomas, meningiomas, and metastatic tumors. While some tumors are not as aggressive, a primary malignant, grade 4 glioma, also known as glioblastoma multiforme, is generally very aggressive and usually fatal. Sometimes, patients with brain tumors appear asymptomatic until the tumor has reached a large size. Symptoms of brain tumor include headache, seizure, weakness, or difficulty in speaking. Generally, the presence of a brain tumor is diagnosed after a patient experiences symptoms, and it is confirmed by CT and MRI scans. Treatment options are very specialized and may involve biopsy, surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.

Treatment of brain tumors at the Berman Brain & Spine Institute involves a team of clinical experts that includes neurosurgeons, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists. Our interdisciplinary approach permits us to closely interact and focus on individual patients’ symptoms, treatments, and treatment responses to determine the best management for each patient, from diagnosis to treatment with advanced, cutting-edge therapies.

To learn more about treatment of brain tumors at the Berman Brain & Spine Institute, call 410-601-WELL.

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