Metastatic Tumors

July 31st, 2012 | Posted by admin in Malignant Tumor Types

A cancer in one part of the body can spread to the central nervous system, which includes the brain, cranial nerves, and spinal cord. These secondary tumors are called metastases or metastatic tumors. Increasingly, metastatic tumors are treated without surgery, using the gamma knife technology. Lung, breast, melanoma, renal and colon cancers account for the greatest majority of all brain metastasis.

The tumors generally increase pressure in the brain, resulting in headache and vomiting. Other symptoms may include, muscle weakness, behavioral changes, confusion, a sudden seizure, and changes in vision, ability to speak, balance, and sensory perceptions.

Surgery is an important part of the management for some patients with brain metastasis. During surgery, first tissue is obtained to confirm the diagnosis. Then the tumor, also called a lesion, is removed. Surgery is performed when the treating physician determines that it is likely to lead to greater relief of symptoms than might be achieved by other treatments and it possibly can extend survival.