What is a brain tumor?

A brain tumor is a growth in the brain that leads to increased pressure inside the skull and compresses normal brain tissue. This can cause a loss of function. A brain tumor can cause headaches and seizures as well as other nervous system problems. Tumors that begin in the brain itself are called primary brain tumors. Sometimes tumors can come from another part of the body and travel to the brain. These are called metastatic or secondary tumors.

Brain tumors can be classified in 2 ways: benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). A benign tumor does not contain cancer cells and usually does not return once it is removed or invade surrounding tissue. It can cause symptoms similar to cancerous tumors depending on size and location.

Malignant brain tumors contain cancer cells and are usually fast growing and invasive. They rarely spread to other areas of the body, but they may come back after treatment. Sometimes brain tumors that are not cancerous are called malignant because of their size, location, and the damage they could do to the brain.

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Our approach to treating brain tumors

Learning that you have a brain tumor is scary and you may have lots of questions. You can rest assured that the expert team at Phelps Hospital is specially trained to provide advanced care and a treatment approach that is personalized for you. From diagnosis through treatment and follow-up, you are in the capable hands of some of the best brain tumor experts on every step of your journey.

The Cancer Institute at Phelps Hospital offers the most advanced treatments for patients with brain tumors, including:

  • Cutting-edge surgical procedures, including awake craniotomy, that avoid damage to critical areas of the brain
  • Unique intra-operative magnetic resonance imaging (iMRI) that guides surgeons and ensures precision
    Minimally invasive laser treatments that use very tiny incisions and have high accuracy
  • Innovative GliaSite Radiation Therapy System (one of only a few hospitals in New York performing this procedure)
  • State-of-the-art Novalis® stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) that delivers precise radiation beams to target the tumor and protect healthy cells
  • Advanced chemotherapy treatment options in our modern Infusion Suite

Our team at Phelps is dedicated to ensuring you get the treatment you need in the comfort of a warm and caring environment. Your oncologist will explain all of your treatment options and work closely with a dedicated team of specialists in medical oncology, surgical oncology, and radiation oncology who will collaborate to ensure seamless coordination of your care.

Beyond the expert care at Phelps, our affiliation with Northwell Health means that you have access to an extensive network of specialists, advanced research, and clinical trials.

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We’re here to support you on every step of your journey

We know that every patient’s cancer diagnosis and journey is unique. We offer a variety of coordinated support services right here at Phelps Hospital. Our support program includes oncology nurse navigators, oncology nutritionists, social workers, and others who are dedicated to coordinating your care and ensuring your needs are met. Our unique hospitality team will make sure you have a comfortable stay while you’re with us.

Explore the support program