Benign Tumor types and Treatment

Benign Tumor Types and Treatment

Westchester Medical Center's comprehensive neurosciences program includes a fully developed brain tumor program, where patients and their families can rest assured that we have the clinical staff, technology and expertise to treat both malignant and benign brain tumors.  We are a full-service practice that can diagnose, treat and provide second opinions for a range of tumors.  Our diagnosis and treatment services are accessible to residents of Westchester County, metropolitan New York City and the Hudson Valley.

Brain tumor signs and symptoms

A variety of tumor types originate  from or extend into the base or bottom of the skull where the brain rests. Because the front of the skull-base slopes down behind the eyes and nasal cavities, skull-base tumors require considerable  surgical skill to avoid damaging  vital nerves and tissues. Skull-base tumors may be benign or malignant and produce few symptoms until they grow large enough.  Symptoms vary depending  on the location  and size of the tumor and may include facial pain or numbness, headache, recurrent  sinusitis, cranial nerve palsies, nasal obstruction, shortness of breath, hoarseness, hearing loss or tinnitus (ringing  in the ears).  

As the region's leading advanced medical care hospital, Westchester Medical Center is among the region's best when it comes to providing the facilities, surgeons and extended clinical staff to diagnose and treat skull-base tumors.  Our facilities includes the most cutting-edge diagnostic and imaging tools, protocols and operating rooms--including our recently opened hybrid operating room--utilizing the most up-to-date technology supported by evidence-based clinical practices. 

At Westchester Medical Center, skull-base tumors may be removed through traditional open surgery or endoscopic microsurgery through the nasal passages.  In some cases, especially  when the entire tumor cannot be safely removed, surgery is complemented by radiation therapy, which can delivered through traditional means or via gamma knife surgery.

Types of benign tumors diagnosed at Westchester Medical Center

Acoustic neuroma:
An acoustic neuroma affects the nerve connecting the ear to the brain.  This type of tumor is benign and is a slow-growing tumor of the vestibular cochlear nerve that connects to the brain.  
Craniopharyngiomas are benign, slow-growing tumors, either solid or cyst, that arise from the stalk that connects the pituitary gland to the brain. Located behind the eyes, a craniopharyngioma may cause vision problems,  headaches, nausea, and difficulty with balance if it exerts pressure  on the brain. It may also interfere with the production  of hormones  from the pituitary gland. However, not all patients  will experience  symptoms.

Meningiomas  are tumors of the meninges or coverings  of the brain. Most meningiomas are benign. 
Pituitary adenomas:
Most pituitary tumors are benign glandular tumors called pituitary adenomas. These tumors can cause discomfort and significant health problems because of their proximity to the brain.  In many instances, pituitary tumors can cause patients to secrete excess hormones. These tumors tend to grown in the space in the skull where the pituitary gland rests but don't grow to become very large. If a pituitary tumor grows larger than roughly half an inch, it can affect parts of the brain nearby as well as the associated nerves and can even affect a patient's vision and hormone production.

Tumors affecting hormone production

Tumors that affect hormone  production  are called functioning  tumors. Tumors that do not affect hormone production are called non-functioning tumors. Pituitary tumor symptoms materialize  as the tumor grows and may include headaches,  vision problems,  nausea, and vomiting.

Hormone  disorders  caused by functioning  tumors will produce symptoms  specific to the affected hormone  production.  Sometimes  they can be treated by radiation  alone. At other times, stereotactic  radiosurgery  or endoscopic  surgery may be indicated.

Treating benign tumors at Westchester Medical Center

At Westchester Medical Center, we have the clinical expertise and technology to treat the range of benign brain tumors.  Depending on the severity, size and location within the confines of the skull, our surgeons and clinical team can remove them by employing minimally invasive micro or endovascular surgery, or through conventional open surgery also utilizing stereotactic radiosurgery using gamma knife technology. The type of treatment depends upon a range of factors that the physician and the clinical team will discuss with the patient which includes--but is not limited to the patient's general health and well-being.

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To speak to someone about brain tumor services at Westchester Medical Center, please call (914) 948-6688. Our offices are located at 19 Bradhurst Ave, Suite 3050N, Hawthorne, NY