Understanding brain tumors

May brings Brain Tumor Awareness Month, a time of reflection, education and support for the brain tumor community. Brain tumors can affect all ages, genders and ethnicities, and over 700,000 Americans are currently living with a brain tumor.

What are brain tumors?

A tumor is a growing mass of abnormal cells. Primary brain tumors begin in a patient’s brain while secondary, or metastatic, brain tumors spread from another cancerous part of the body. Tumors may be either benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Symptoms and treatment vary greatly based on the type of brain tumor, size and location.

General symptoms of a brain tumor may include:

  • More frequent and severe headaches
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting
  • Blurred or double vision or loss of peripheral vision
  • Gradual loss of sensation, movement, or strength in an arm or leg
  • Loss of balance
  • Speech difficulties
  • Confusion
  • Personality or behavior changes
  • Seizures
  • Hearing issues

Treatment

UofL Health – Brown Cancer Center offers comprehensive neuro-oncology care with a multidisciplinary team of specialists, including pathologists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, and physical medicine rehabilitation physicians. Our highly-trained and experienced Multidisciplinary Brain Tumor Clinic team creates a personalized treatment plan for every patient and can manage care from diagnosis to rehabilitation and follow-up. You can request an initial evaluation online or by calling 502-588-2160.

Brain tumor support

After receiving a brain tumor diagnosis, it is important to maintain a network of support among family and friends. UofL Health – Restorative Neuroscience offers a free support group for patients, family and friends affected by a brain tumor diagnosis 4-5 p.m. on Mondays. Those interested can request information by calling 502-588-2160.

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About Brian J. Williams, M.D.

Brian J. Williams, M.D. is a neurosurgeon with UofL Physicians – Restorative Neuroscience and the director of the brain tumor program. He received his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, Houston. Dr. Williams completed his residency in neurological surgery at the University of Virginia and a one-year fellowship in skull base and cerebrovascular surgery at Auckland City Hospital in New Zealand. He also completed another one-year fellowship in neurosurgical oncology at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.

All posts by Brian J. Williams, M.D.