Brain/Central Nervous System Cancers
Brain tumors are masses of abnormal cells that have grown out of control. These tumors may be benign or malignant (cancerous). These tumors may also be categorized into primary (originating in the brain tissue itself) or metastatic (spread to the brain from another site such as the lung or breast). Although brain tumors rarely spread to other parts of the body, they can spread through the brain tissue. These tumors can destroy and compress normal brain tissue as they grow. Brain cancers are often referred to as brain tumors or central nervous system (CNS) tumors.
Legacy Cancer Institute has expertise treating all types of cancers, including gliomas and glioblastoma multiforme. Our neurosurgeons are involved in extensive research and clinical trials.
Treatment for brain tumors is best done in a multidisciplinary fashion. Legacy's team of specialists, including neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists, will work together to evaluate your case and develop a personalized treatment plan for you. At Legacy we understand that you have a life, not just a diagnosis.
Legacy ranks among the nation's top cancer programs and has received multiple quality awards including the 2010 Outstanding Achievement Award from the American College of Surgeons' Commission (ACS) on Cancer. The ACS ranks Legacy's cancer program as one of the best in the nation. Learn more.
Legacy Health offers special expertise caring for children with cancers of all types, including a specialized neuro-oncology program for children with brain and spinal tumors. Learn more about the Children's Cancer and Blood Disorders Program through Randall Children's Hospital at Legacy Emanuel.
New hope for patients with brain tumors
Legacy Cancer Institute is transforming brain tumor treatment by using the revolutionary new BrainPath technology and ultra-precise Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery. These technologies offer new hope to brain cancer patients with tumors that used to be considered inoperable. Legacy Emanuel is one of only 10 U.S. hospitals to offer BrainPath technology. Learn more about BrainPath.
• When used together, the two technologies are especially powerful. BrainPath allows the neurosurgeon to remove tumors deep in the brain. Gamma Knife radiation therapy is used as a follow-up treatment, to target any remaining cancer cells in the area where the tumor had been.
• BrainPath offers an important new treatment option for patients with gliomas, which tend to grow and infiltrate into the normal brain tissue. BrainPath provides a new, much safer way to reach and remove the tumor that minimizes damage to the brain’s health tissues, helping preserve brain function.
The specific type of tumor, its location in the brain and the amount that it has spread all determine your treatment options, whether surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. Patients often receive a combination of treatments.
Surgery to remove the tumor is usually the first treatment for brain tumors and is performed by a neurosurgeon. Recent surgical advances in technology have helped to make surgery gentler and safer for patients; these include neuro-navigation tools, neurophysiological monitoring, intraoperative CT scans, and fluorescent microscopic guidance. Also we have specialized care after surgery, with intensivists and board certified neurocritical care specialists, to promote the best recovery.
Radiation is a key weapon against many cancers. Legacy offers many types of radiation treatment. For brain cancer, we have the highly accurate treatment Gamma Knife, which uses several precise beams of radiation. This approach makes the treatment highly accurate while delivering high doses or radiation and not damaging the healthy tissue around the tumor.
Chemotherapy may be given to treat certain brain tumors. It is sometimes used during or after radiation treatment.
Physician case review
Our multidisciplinary cancer care conferences review complex cases to provide an expert "second opinion" on diagnosis, pre-treatment evaluation, staging, treatment strategy and rehabilitation. The team includes medical oncologists, pathologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, neurosurgeons, nurses, research coordinators and other cancer care staff.
You're not alone
At the Legacy Cancer Institute we offer services to support every aspect of your treatment including your physical, emotional, social and spiritual well-being.
Our support services include a twice-monthly Brain Tumor Support Group, which has been active for years. For more information contact Wendy Talbot, LCSW at email@example.com or 503-413-7921.
We also offer a wide range of other services to help you and your family. If you need help just ask us, and we'll help you find the assistance you need.
Our personalized support services begin with our nurse navigators. They will help you throughout your treatment, from knowing what to expect to finding the right support services and helping you manage symptoms and treatment side effects.
In addition, the following support services are also available:
- David Adler, M.D., neurosurgeon
- Jefferson Chen, M.D., Ph.D., board-certified, fellowship-trained neurosurgeon; also directs Legacy's neurosurgical research including clinical trials.
- Andrew Kee, M.D., radiation oncologist