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Brain Tumor Services at UPMC in Central Pa.

The neurosurgeons at UPMC Neurosurgery in Central Pa. improve and save lives by performing advanced procedures to treat brain tumors.

Why choose UPMC Neurosurgery in Central Pa. for brain tumor treatment?

Neurosurgery at UPMC Pinnacle

Our experts use leading-edge technology and techniques to treat cancerous and noncancerous brain tumors, including:

  • State-of-the-art navigation system and microscope. Using an advanced navigation system and microscope, our surgeons can perform brain tumor surgery with pinpoint accuracy. These tools provide a detailed, real-time view of the surgical area and help our surgeons identify specific parts of the brain during surgery.
  • Three-dimensional (3D) C-arm for intraoperative imaging. A 3D C-arm is a medical imaging device that uses x-ray technology to provide your surgeon with 3D images during surgery. This advanced imaging system helps to increase surgical precision, safety, and accuracy.
  • Stereotactic Radiosurgery. Our specialists use stereotactic radiosurgery, which is a noninvasive procedure that delivers targeted doses of radiation directly to brain tumors without damaging the surrounding, healthy brain tissue.

What is a brain tumor?

A brain tumor occurs when a collection of abnormal cells forms in your brain or other nearby areas. There are many different types of brain tumors that can occur in different parts of your brain. Brain tumors may be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).

Our specialists diagnose and treat all types of brain tumors and related conditions, including:

  • Primary brain tumors. Brain tumors that start in your brain are called primary brain tumors.
  • Metastatic or secondary brain tumors. Sometimes, cancer in another part of your body can spread to your brain and cause a secondary, or metastatic, brain tumor.
  • Pituitary tumors. Pituitary tumors are usually benign (noncancerous) and develop in the pituitary gland, which controls hormone levels throughout your body and is located at the base of your brain.
  • Pituitary apoplexy. Pituitary apoplexy is a medical emergency that occurs when a pituitary tumor starts bleeding or cuts off its own blood supply.
  • Skull base tumors. Skull base tumors occur in the bones at the bottom of your head and in the bones behind your nose and eyes. There are different types of skull base tumors, which may be cancerous or noncancerous.

What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?

Brain tumors can cause different symptoms depending on where they are located, how large they are, and how quickly they are growing. Signs of a brain tumor may include:

  • Headaches that are new
  • A change in headache patterns or triggers
  • Headaches that become more frequent or more severe
  • Vision problems, such a blurred or double vision
  • Seizures
  • Balance problems
  • Nausea or vomiting with no other obvious cause
  • Trouble speaking or hearing
  • Confusion
  • Changes in personality or behavior

Who is at risk for a brain tumor?

The cause of primary brain tumors isn’t always clear, but secondary or metastatic brain tumors occur when cancer from another part of your body spreads to your brain. Other risk factors for brain tumors include exposure to radiation — usually during cancer treatment — and a family history of brain tumors or certain genetic conditions.

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