Brain and Spinal Tumors

About Brain Tumors

Anatomy of the Brain
The brain is an important organ that controls thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, respiration, temperature, hunger, and every process that regulates your body.
Am I At Risk for a Brain Tumor?
Doctors do not know exactly what causes a brain tumor, although certain factors appear to raise your risk: exposure to radiation or pesticides, an impaired immune system, and a family history of brain tumors.
Brain Tumors
A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain. The tumor can either originate in the brain itself or come from another part of the body and travel to the brain.
Gliomas
A glioma is a type of brain tumor that originates from glial cells, which help support the function of the other main brain cell type—the neuron.
Meningioma
A meningioma is a type of tumor that's often discussed along with brain tumors, though it's not technically a brain tumor. This type of tumor grows in the meninges, which are layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord.
Metastatic Brain Tumors
Sometimes brain tumors start in the lung, breast, skin, kidney, or other body parts and spread to the brain. These are called secondary or metastatic brain tumors.
I've Just Been Told I Have a Brain Tumor
It’s OK to feel overwhelmed and afraid. But you shouldn’t let those feelings stop you from finding out as much as you can about your cancer and about the options you have.
Understanding Your Grade of Brain Tumor
Before your doctor can recommend a treatment plan, he or she needs to know the grade of the cancer. The grade tells your doctor how malignant the tumor is and how it might respond to treatment.

Deciding on Treatment

What to Know About Chemotherapy for Brain Tumors
Chemotherapy uses anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells. The drugs attack and kill cells that divide rapidly. Some of these rapidly dividing cells are cancer, but others are normal cells in the body.
What to Know About Radiation Therapy for Brain Tumors
Doctors give radiation therapy in one of these two ways: from a machine outside the body or from small radioactive pellets placed inside the area with cancer.
Do What You Can to Ease Side Effects of Treatment for a Brain Tumor
Your treatment may cause side effects such as anemia, loss of appetite, and hair loss. Here are ideas on how to ease these and other discomforts.

About Spinal Tumors

Spinal Cord Tumor Overview
A tumor forms when an abnormal cell proliferates to form a mass of abnormal cells. Spinal cord tumors are tumors that form on the spinal cord or in the area around it