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Click on the condition for more information.
Acoustic Tumor

An acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma) is a benign tumor that develops on the balance (vestibular) and hearing, or auditory (cochlear) nerves leading from your inner ear to the brain. The pressure on the nerve from the tumor may cause hearing loss and imbalance.

Astrocytoma

Astrocytoma tumors are a form of brain or spinal tumor with star-shaped cells. These tumors are often slow growing or can remain unchanged for long periods of time. Once this condition is identified it is important to monitor the Astrocytoma growth closely.

Symptoms are often a result of increased pressure within the skull or spinal canal. In young children, the growing pressure of an Astrocytoma tumor inside the skull may cause enlargement of the skull.

Those with Astrocytoma tumors may experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Seizures
  • Vomiting
  • Drowsiness
  • Decreased energy
  • Mood swings
  • Impaired mental focus
Brain Tumors

A brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells within the brain. Many different types of brain tumors exist. Some brain tumors are noncancerous (benign), and some brain tumors are cancerous (malignant). Primary brain tumors originate in the brain or the surrounding tissue, such as in the membranes that cover the brain (meninges), cranial nerves and pituitary gland. These tumors originate when normal brain cells undergo mutations in their DNA that allow cells to grow and divide at increased rates and to continue living when healthy cells would die. This results in a mass of mutated cells known as a tumor.

Secondary, or metastatic brain tumors, spread to the brain from an anatomically distinct tumor located elsewhere in the body .

Those with Primary or Metastatic Brain Tumors may experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Sudden onset of headaches
  • Seizures
  • Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Loss of peripheral vision
  • Loss of sensation or mobility in the arms or legs
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Speech difficulties
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Hearing impairment
Chordoma

Chordoma is a malignant primary cancer that manifests as a tumor most typically arising in the sacrum (base of the lower spine) or in the base of the skull. These life threatening tumors can occur at any age but are most often seen in adults.

Chordomas are the result of small remnants of the notochord, a coil of cells in the embryo that develops into the spinal cord. In some cases, a leftover cell (notochord remnant) can develop into a Chordoma. Symptoms depend on the site of the tumor. Symptoms can vary depending upon the size of the tumor.

In many instances, surgery is needed to excise the tumor. Long term follow up is needed to prevent metastasis of these tumors.

Those with Chordoma of the skull may experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Neck pain
  • Headache
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Facial numbness
  • Facial twitching
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Impaired speech

Those with Chordoma of the sacral spine may experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the legs (Sciatica)
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Bowel or bladder incontinence
Craniopharyngioma

Craniopharyngioma is a type of brain tumor derived from embryonic tissue within the pituitary gland. This tumor is usually slow growing but behaves aggressively as it affects surrounding structures. These benign tumors occur most often in children but are also common in adults in their 50’s and 60’s

Those with Craniopharyngioma may experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea / vomitting
  • Dizziness
  • Difficulty balancing
  • Increased fatigue
  • Mood swings
  • Visual impairment
  • Excessive thirst
  • Increased urination
  • Excessive weight gain
Cushing’s Disease

Cushing Disease (hypercortisolism) is a result of the overproduction of a hormone known as Cortisol . One of the most common causes of Cushing Disease is the use of oral corticosteroid medication. Another common cause of Cushing’s Disease is an adenoma (tumor) of the pituitary gland. This tumor forces the pituitary gland to produce increased levels of ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone). In response, the adrenal glands produces increased levels of Cortisol, causing a variety of physical and psychological symptoms.

Those with Cushing’s Disease can experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Weight gain
  • Lumps of fatty tissue deposits around the midsection, upper back, face and between the shoulders
  • Stretch marks on the abdomen, arms, thighs or breasts
  • Skin that bruises easily and appears to be thinning
  • Delayed healing of cuts, abrasions and insect bites
  • Acne
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Mood Swings
  • Weakness
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Cognitive deficiencies

Women with Cushing syndrome can also experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Thicker or more visible hair on the face and body
  • Missed or irregular menstrual cycles

Men with Cushing syndrome can experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Decreased libido
  • Sexual dysfunction
Ependymoma

Ependymal tumors begin in the cells that line the passageways in the brain where cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is produced and stored (ependyma). Ependymomas may occur in the brain or spinal cord, and can be either slow or fast growing.

This condition is most common in children and men and women in their 40’s or 50’s. These tumors may obstruct normal CSF flow, leading to Hydrocephalus.

Those with Ependymal tumors can experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty walking
  • Fatigue or sleepiness
  • Problems with motor skills
  • Coordination Issues
  • Neck pain or stiffness in the neck
  • Visual impairment
Gliomas

A Glioma is a type of tumor that starts in the brain or spinal cord. Its name derives from the cell of origin, the glial cell. Glial cells are surround and protect the neurons of the brain. Gliomas are also referred to as intrinsic brain tumors because they reside within the brain and are known to intermix with normal brain tissue. These tumors arise from three different types of cells that are naturally occuring in the brain: astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and ependymal cells.

About half of all brain tumors that begin in the brain are a result of gliomas. These generally occur in the upper hemispheres of the brain, but can also grow near the optic nerve, cerebellum and brain stem. Gliomas can affect all age groups, but are seen more more commonly in adults. Also, Gliomas are slightly more common in men than in women.

Those suffering from Gliomas can experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Seizure
  • Memory loss
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Mood swings
  • Visual impairment
  • Coordination Loss
  • Physical Weakness
  • Pain in the extremities
Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM)

Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM) is a malignant glioma (Grade IV) that has the potential to grow quickly and infiltrate the brain.

GBM’s are the most invasive type of glial tumors. In adults, GBM occurs most often in the cerebral hemispheres. Because of the aggressiveness of these tumors it is important to seek treatment immediately. These tumors have a high mortality rate if not addressed quickly.
Glioblastoma Multiforme accounts for about 15% of brain based tumors and generally occur in adults between the ages of 45 and 70.

Those suffering with Glioblastoma Multiforme can experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Chronic headaches
  • Seizures
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Mood swings
  • Cognitive Impairment
  • Difficulty in speech
Medulloblastoma

Medulloblastoma is a malignant brain tumor that most commonly develop in or near the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the area of the brain that controls movement and coordination.

This tumor affects the central nervous system (CNS) and can cause impairment in thought, speech, and body strength. Obstruction of normal CSF flow by these tumors can also lead to Hydrocephalus. Medulloblastoma most often occurs in children but can also be seen in adults.

Symptoms can vary depending upon the severity and location of the tumor.

Those suffering Medulloblastoma can experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Headache
  • Problems with coordination
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Balance issues
  • Visual hallucination
Meningioma

Meningioma is a tumor that arises from the meninges (the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord). Meningiomas will present with symptoms based on its location where it is pushing on the brain, spinal cord, or nerves.

Those with Convexity Meningioma may experience signs and symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty with memory or concentration
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle ache
  • Mood changes
  • Trouble speaking
  • Weakness
  • Paralysis
Metastatic Brain Tumor

Metastases are the most common brain tumor. A Metastatic Brain tumor (also called a Secondary Brain Tumor) is a tumor that arises from a cancer in another area of the body and secondarily spreads to and infiltrates the brain. Certain types of cancers are more likely to spread to the brain than others, with lung and breast cancers being the most common.

These tumors are most often found in the cerebellum. About 50% of those with one Metastatic Brain Tumors will have multiple tumors in the brain.

Signs and symptoms can vary depending on the size, location and number of tumors.

Those suffering with Metastatic Brain Tumors can experience signs and symptoms including:

  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Mood Swings
  • Coordination impairment
Metastatic Spine Tumor

Metastatic spinal tumors are those that have come from a Cancer that began in another part of the body. The spine is the third most common site for metastatic cancer. Metastatic spinal tumors can invade any part of the spine—the spinal vertebrae (bones), nerves, spinal cord and the cord’s protective membranes or sheaths call meninges (ie, dura mater, arachnoid mater, pia mater).

Neurofibromatosis

Neurofibromatosis is a result of a genetic disorder that disturbs the healthy growth of cells in the central nervous system (CNS). This disturbance can cause tumors to form on nerve tissue. These tumors may develop anywhere in the nervous system but are most often found in the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. The tumors are generally benign, however in some cases these tumors develop into malignant tumors.

Based on the severity of these tumors they are categorized into two groups – NF1 and NF2.

Neurofibromatosis 1 (NF1) usually appears in childhood. Indications of NF1 in children include:

  • Flat, light brown spots on the skin.
  • Freckling in the groin or armpits
  • Soft bumps on or under the skin
  • Small bumps on the iris
  • Cognitive impairment or learning disabilities
  • Deformities of the bones
  • Large head size
  • Stunted growth
  • Underweight

Neurofibromatosis 2 (NF2) occurs much less frequently than NF1 and is hallmarked by the development of Vestibular Schwannomas (Acoustic Neuromas) in both ears.

These benign tumors grow on the eighth cranial nerve, the nerve that is responsible for carrying sound and balance information from the inner ear to the brain.

Signs and symptoms most often appear in the adolescent and early adult years and can include:

  • Progressive hearing loss
  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
  • Poor balance
  • Facial drooping or sagging
  • Numbness and weakness in the arms
  • Numbness and weakness in the arms
Pituitary Tumors

Pituitary Tumors are abnormal growths that arise within the pituitary gland and may cause excessive production of hormones that regulate important functions of your body. Some other Pituitary Tumors can restrict normal functions of the pituitary gland and cause reduced production of certain hormones.

The majority of pituitary tumors are benign and remain in the pituitary gland region. Pituitary Tumors less than 1cm are referred to as Microadenomas. Pituitary Tumors that are larger than 1 centimeter are referred to as Macroadenomas. These larger tumors can increase pressure on the rest of the pituitary gland and nearby structures.

Those with Pituitary Tumors can experience signs and symptoms including:

  • Headache
  • Peripheral vision loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Hormone deficiency
  • Weakness
  • Less frequent or missed menstrual cycles
  • Loss of body hair
  • Sexual dysfunction
  • Increased frequency and amount of urination
  • Fluctuation in body weight
Schwannoma

A schwannoma is a tumor that grows in the sheaths of nerves in your peripheral nervous system, or the parts of your nervous system that aren’t in your brain or spinal cord. You may hear schwannomas referred to as neurilemomas, neuromas, or neurolemomas. Schwannomas are usually benign, meaning they’re harmless.

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