Skip to content

Search Prisma Health

Looking for a doctor? Try our Find a doctor search.

Get COVID-19 updates | COVID-19 Vaccine

Brain Tumor

Expect individualized, compassionate care 

We understand how frightening and overwhelming a brain tumor diagnosis can be. At Prisma Health, our team of dedicated, multidisciplinary experts provides state-of-the-art treatment for benign and malignant tumors of the brain and spinal cord. 

We are here to support you at every step – from diagnosis and treatment to recovery. We offer access to the doctors and specialty services you need in one place.

Find a Brain Tumor Care Location

Advanced treatment for brain tumors 

Our multidisciplinary team specializes in treating all types of brain tumors, including:

  • Choroid plexus tumors
  • Cranial nerve and paraspinal nerve tumors
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Ependymoma
  • Germ cell tumors
  • Gliomas
  • WHO Grade 1 pilocytic astrocytoma, ganglioglioma
  • WHO Grade 2 oligodendroglioma/oligoastrocytoma/mixed gliomas
  • WHO Grade 3 astrocytoma
  • WHO Grade 4 glioblastoma multiforme
  • Lymphoma (primary CNS lymphoma) and plasmacytoma
  • Meningioma
  • Schwannoma (acoustic neuroma)
  • Neurofibroma
  • Perineurioma
  • Malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumor
  • Pineal region tumors

Gamma Knife Center – brain surgery with no incisions 

Gamma Knife radiosurgery is a safe, highly effective non-surgical procedure to treat tumors and other abnormalities in the brain. At the Prisma Health Gamma Knife Center, our experts have treated thousands of patients with Gamma Knife radiosurgery.

Gamma Knife allows our doctors to destroy brain tumors or blood vessel abnormalities deep within the brain without an incision. The treatment is typically performed on an outpatient basis and is virtually painless. Most patients return to normal activities within 24 to 48 hours.

Learn more about Gamma Knife

Symptoms of brain tumors

Symptoms vary according to the type of tumor and its location. Because different areas of the brain control different functions of the body, the tumor’s location affects the way symptoms appear.

Some tumors have no symptoms until they are quite large and then cause a serious, rapid decline in health. Other tumors may cause symptoms to develop slowly. A common first symptom is a headache that doesn’t get better. Keep in mind that most headaches are unrelated to brain tumors.

Other symptoms include:

  • Balance problems
  • Changes in speech or hearing
  • Changes in vision
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Personality changes
  • Problems with memory
  • Problems with walking
  • Seizures
  • Weakness in one part of the body

How brain tumors are diagnosed

To diagnose a brain tumor, the doctor starts by asking questions about your symptoms and taking a personal and family health history. Then they perform a physical exam and neurological exam. If there’s reason to suspect a brain tumor, the doctor may request one or more of the following tests:

  • Imaging studies such as a CT (CAT) scan or MRI to see detailed images of the brain
  • Angiogram or MRA, which involve the use of dye and X-rays of blood vessels in the brain to look for signs of a tumor or abnormal blood vessels

The doctor may also ask for a biopsy to determine whether or not the tumor is cancer. A tissue sample is removed from the brain either during surgery to remove the tumor or with a needle inserted through a small hole drilled into the skull before treatment is started. The sample is then sent to a lab for testing.