Radiation Therapy in Pasadena, CA
No matter who you are, brain cancer is one of the most difficult challenges that anyone can face – but at Pasadena CyberKnife Center, we believe there’s always hope. As a premier radiation therapy clinic serving the Pasadena and greater Los Angeles area, we provide world-class CyberKnife treatment for even the most advanced stages of brain cancer. If you or someone you love has recently been diagnosed, we’re here to help, and we’ve compiled a list of common questions and answers to help you learn more about your condition.
Common Questions About Brain Cancer
Are brain tumors always cancer?
No, not all brain tumors are a form of cancer. Benign (low grade) brain tumors generally don’t contain cancer cells – but this doesn’t mean they’re harmless. Any tumorous growth in the brain can put pressure on vital brain functions, causing a host of possible side effects ranging from dizziness to seizures and death. In some cases, benign tumors can contain cancerous cells and eventually morph into cancer.
How are benign brain tumors harmful?
The difference between benign (low grade) and malignant (high grade) brain tumors has to do with the way they grow and spread. Generally speaking, benign tumors will grow more slowly than cancerous tumors and are not at risk of spreading throughout the body. Malignant tumors, on the other hand, grow and spread more aggressively.
Even a benign, slow-growing tumor can pose a serious threat. Depending on the size and placement of the tumor, it may place pressure on vital areas of the brain, disrupting important functions and causing serious – even fatal – side effects.
What is a primary brain tumor? What is a secondary brain tumor?
The difference between primary and secondary brain cancer has to do with where the cancer starts. Primary brain cancers begin in the brain: that is, they form directly from brain cells. Secondary, or metastatic, brain tumors originate somewhere else in the body, and cancer cells spread to the brain and form a tumor there. Secondary brain tumors are by far the most common type. The most common sources for secondary brain cancers include:
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
- Breast cancer
- Melanoma (skin cancer)
If I have a brain tumor, will I start getting seizures?
Seizures are certainly a possible side effect of brain tumors, but not all brain tumors will cause seizures. In fact, the side effects and symptoms of a brain tumor are very hard to predict. The brain is the body’s command center, and a tumor may produce widely varying side effects based on its size and location in the brain. For example, a brain tumor near the motor cortex may press on this region of the brain and cause symptoms and seizures affecting mobility, while a brain tumor in the visual cortex may not produce any form of motor impairment at all, instead producing
only visual symptoms. The exact symptoms depend on the type of tumor, its location, and the rate at which it grows and spreads.
What does my brain tumor have a grade, but not a stage?
Brain tumors are evaluated differently from most other forms of cancer because of their location in the brain, the body’s command center. Instead of using the traditional four-part staging system, most doctors evaluate the severity of brain tumors by their grade: a measure of how aggressively the tumor will grow and spread. Brain tumors may have a grade between 1 and 4. Low grade tumors will grow the slowest and pose little risk of spreading, while high grade tumors will grow and spread aggressively.
Schedule a Consultation with Your Los Angeles, CA Cancer Treatment Center
A brain cancer diagnosis can be devastating – but the treatment team at Pasadena CyberKnife
Center is committed to helping you beat it. Contact us today to learn how we can use nonsurgical,
noninvasive CyberKnife treatment to eliminate your brain cancer.