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Educate Yourself

brain tumor quoteIt is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.-Aristotle Onassis

A brain tumor diagnosis often catches patients off-guard and it is life-changing. BTF is here to help you take control and take a proactive approach to a disease that can be fought. We are here to remind you that a diagnosis reveals a myriad of ways to be treated and kept healthy throughout.  A diagnosis is just that. It means you have the options of treatment, time to think things through — for you and your family.

The term brain tumor is a generic one, describing a wide variety of entities. These span the range of biological behavior, from benign to malignant.

“Brain tumor” is a general term that includes any tumor within the skull: tumors that are within the substance of the brain and those that are outside the substance of the brain. In addition, there are tumors that start within the skull and tumors that come from someplace else (like the lung or breast, for example) and metastasize to the brain or the coverings of the brain.

In general, brain tumors are classified according to the cell of origin. Knowing the cell type (or histology) will give some indication of the biologic behavior of the tumor and its prognosis.

Unfortunately, no single classification scheme is universally agreed upon. Additionally, the location of the tumor has some bearing on symptoms and neurologic deficits produced, as well as the safety of removing it (if this is possible and in the best interest of the patient). In practice, both location and histology are important.

Browse this section for an in-depth look at major tumor types, a list of symptoms and treatment methods.

Determining physical aspects of behaviors of tumor cells is critical in diagnosing a patient’s cancer type and progression.

Tumors may have many different characteristics beyond the classification of benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).

In recent years, newer treatment options have emerged.

Side effects are unfortunate but can often be managed.

A second opinion is your choice and it can help you make a more informed decision.

Clinical trials are not a last resort. They are available for all stages of cancer.

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