There are nearly 23,000 new cases of brain cancer in the U.S. each year, according to the National Cancer Institute, and there are over 125 different types of brain tumors. Brain and spinal cord tumors may originate in the brain (primary brain tumors) or spread to the brain from a cancer in another part of the body (metastatic brain tumors). Some brain tumors are benign, or non-cancerous.
Most primary brain tumors do not have known causes. There are some rare genetic conditions and immune system disorders, and exposure to environmental risk factors that may contribute to primary brain tumors.
If you suspect you may have a primary brain tumor, you should consult with your doctor for a full physical examination. Your doctor will assess your medical history and overall health. She or he may also order further testing, including diagnostic imaging (such as a CT scan or MRI) or a biopsy. Metastatic brain tumors are diagnosed during treatment or follow-up care of other cancers.
Treatment options will vary depending on the type of brain tumor, location, size, and other factors. Options may include surgery, radiation therapy, and less frequently, chemotherapy. In all instances, your healthcare team will attempt to remove or shrink the tumor as much as possible while sparing healthy tissue. Your doctor may also suggest combined therapies or newer drugs or treatment options depending on your condition.
If you are diagnosed with brain cancer, you will be able to receive expert, coordinated care under one roof at White Plains Hospital Center for Cancer Care. Our team of experts includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, and oncology nurses. We are also able to offer 24/7 emergency care through the White Plains Hospital Emergency Department.