There is no more frightening diagnosis that a brain tumor.  We understand that it can feel devastating and be life changing. Our team has treated thousands of patients facing this diagnosis. Be assured that you will receive most advanced care available with us.

What is a brain tumor?

A brain tumor is an abnormal mass of cells located in the brain. Most brain tumors are benign (non-cancerous) but can also be malignant (cancerous). A primary tumor begins in the brain and a secondary tumor forms when cancer spreads to the brain from elsewhere.

Meningioma are the most common type of primary brain tumor. These tumors are slow growing, mostly benign and form in the membranes that surround the brain and spinal column. Most are treatable.

gioblastoma  is an aggressive type of cancer and not common. Treatment can slow the progression and reduce signs and symptoms.

Different brain tumors can have different symptoms. Generally, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Headaches that are new, are different than normal or that become more frequent or severe
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting
  • Problems with the senses:
    • Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
    • Speech difficulties
    • Hearing problems
  • Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Confusion in everyday matters
  • Personality or behavior changes
  • Seizures, especially in someone who doesn't have a history of seizures

How is a brain tumor treated?

Brain tumor treatment depends on what type of brain tumor you have, its  size, location and how fast it grows. Our neuro-oncology team of neurosurgeons and oncologists create a plan of treatment for the best possible outcome.

If surgical tumor removal is advisable, we use image-guided navigation and real-time ultrasound during surgery to pinpoint the tumor. We employ various monitoring methods to guage  progress:

  • Direct motor stimulation, which identifies important motor tracts that control opposite side movement
  • Awake craniotomies, which map and help preserve vital speech and functional areas of the brain

We also offer stereotactic radiosurgery, also known as Gamma Knife , in partnership with our radiation oncology team. Radiation therapy is delivered precisely to a targeted area, preserving surrounding tissue.

Guthrie neurosurgery offers the latest treatment options for brain tumors, cerebrovascular disease, spine surgery, neuro-oncology and stroke. 

Our dedication to you shows in our commitment to the quality of treatment and care. This is evident through more than 80 years of accreditation by the Commission on Cancer and membership in the Mayo Clinic Care Network.