A benign brain tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue in which cells grow and multiply. A benign brain tumor isn’t cancerous, meaning that it won’t spread to other parts of the body and typically doesn’t invade nearby tissue.
Most benign brain tumors are found by CT or MRI brain scans. Common examples of benign brain tumors include meningioma and schwannoma.
At Colorado Springs Neurological Associates, our fellowship-trained and board-certified neurosurgeons are dedicated to collaborating with individual patients, oncologists, and other care providers to provide a comprehensive treatment plan.
What Patients Need to Know
Benign brain tumors are non-cancerous, and, while they can grow in size, they typically don’t spread to other parts of the body. However, benign brain tumors can express symptoms similar to malignant, or cancerous, brain tumors.
For example, even benign brain tumors can cause symptoms like seizures, paralysis, or speech difficulties. Symptoms alone can’t reveal whether a tumor is cancerous or not. In some cases, an MRI may be able to predict tumor type, but more often than not, a surgical biopsy is required.
Treatment for benign brain tumor typically involves a neurosurgeon removing the tumor and radiation therapy. However, treatment plans are unique to the patient, their age, and the size and location of the tumor.
There are more than 700,000 Americans living with brain tumors today. The vast majority of people who have their brain tumors removed function better after treatment than before.
Common Types of Benign Brain Tumors
These rare, slow-growing tumors are typically found in patients ages 50 to 60 and are often found at the base of the skull or low on the spine. Chordomas can invade nearby bone, and may put pressure on surrounding tissue, resulting in pain or movement problems.
These benign tumors can be challenging to remove as they often develop deep inside critical brain structures, usually within a portion of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland regulates hormones in the body, so patients may require hormone replacement therapy.
Gangliocytoma is a rare, slow-growing type of central nervous system tumor that commonly affects people between the ages of 10 and 30. These types of tumors are frequently associated with epilepsy.
A glomus jugulare tumor grows in the temporal bone of the skull in an area called the jugular foramen. The jugular foramen is also where the jugular vein and several important nerves exit the skull. While these rare tumors can occur at any age, they are more common among adults ages 60 to 70.
A usually non-cancerous tumor, meningiomas are the most common benign intracranial tumors. These tumors originate from the meninges, the membrane-like structures that surround the brain and spinal cord.
Pineocytoma is a tumor of the pineal gland, an organ in the brain that makes melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep. These tumors are slow-growing and rarely spread to other parts of the body.
The pituitary gland regulates the body’s hormones and is located at the base of the brain, just behind the eyes. Pituitary adenomas are benign, slow-growing tumors that arise from cells in the pituitary gland. People can develop pituitary adenomas at any age.
A schwannoma is a type of nerve tumor of the nerve sheath. It is the most common type of benign peripheral nerve tumor in adults. Schwannomas can occur anywhere in the body and at any age. Treatment depends on where the abnormal growth is located and whether it is causing pain or growing quickly.
Start Your Treatment Plan Today
Brain tumors, whether benign or malignant, are usually treated with surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy;, alone or in various combinations.
Treatment decisions are always made on a case-by-case basis and depend on a number of factors. There are risks and side effects associated with each type of therapy.
Our fellowship-trained and board-certified physicians look forward to working alongside you and your family to develop a customized treatment plan.
At Colorado Spring Neurological Associates, we offer a wide range of treatment options and procedures to ensure patients have agency in the decision-making process.