Brain Tumor Center. A Team Approach to Treating Brain Tumors

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1 Brain Tumor Center A Team Approach to Treating Brain Tumors

2 Introducing Our Brain Tumor Center Making an appointment with the Brain Tumor Center at the Center for Advanced Medicine is the important first step toward the diagnosis, treatment and management of your brain tumor. As a leading brain tumor center, we are on the cutting edge of brain tumor treatment and advanced patient care. What Is a Brain Tumor? A brain tumor is any abnormal group of cells that uncontrollably grow and multiply. The tumor can cause a variety of symptoms and conditions that affect normal brain activity and damage nerves. The tumor can appear in different parts of the brain and can be either: Benign A benign brain tumor is made up of cells that grow slowly. They do not spread to other areas of the brain or body. They have distinct boundaries. Surgery alone may cure this type of tumor. Though benign tumors are not cancerous, they can still be dangerous and life-threatening. Malignant A malignant brain tumor is life-threatening. It may be malignant because it consists of cancer cells, or because of its location. In other words, a brain tumor composed of benign cells but located in a vital area may behave in a malignant fashion. A malignant brain tumor made up of cancerous cells can invade and destroy healthy tissue so these areas cannot function properly. What Are the Types of Brain Tumors? There are many kinds of brain tumors, and they are sorted into two groups: Primary brain tumors begin in the brain and can be benign or malignant. 2 Secondary brain tumors (also called metastatic) are more common and are malignant.

3 What Are the Symptoms of a Brain Tumor? The following are the most common symptoms of a brain tumor. However, each patient may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms depend on the size and location of the tumor. Any tumor, extra tissue or fluid can cause increased pressure on the brain (known as intracranial pressure) and result in symptoms that include: Headache Vomiting (usually in the morning) Nausea Personality changes Irritability Drowsiness and/or confusion Depression Decreased heart and breathing function Altered mental status, meaning you feel confused or have a hard time controlling your emotions Seizures Slurred speech Paralysis or weakness on half of the body or face Endocrine problems (like diabetes or trouble regulating hormones) Visual changes or double vision Problems walking, called ataxia 3

4 How Is a Brain Tumor Diagnosed? Before any diagnosis can occur, you ll need to have a physical examination and provide a complete medical history. Afterward, specialists from the Brain Tumor Center at the Center for Advanced Medicine may order one or more tests to diagnose a brain tumor. Most of these tests, which include imaging (taking pictures of inside the body), are safe, painless and non-invasive (meaning nothing is inserted into your body). The Tumor Board: It s Like Having Several Second Opinions The Tumor Board consists of more than 20 experts who meet weekly to review and discuss individual brain tumor cases. This group includes the following professionals: Neurosurgeons treat conditions affecting the nervous system with a variety of surgical and minimally invasive techniques. Neuro-oncologists specialize in treating patients with brain tumors with medications and who often coordinate the overall care. How Are Brain Tumors Treated? Our renowned Brain Tumor Center, under the direction of Dr. Michael Schulder, an internationally recognized authority on the treatment of brain and skull base tumors, takes a multidisciplinary approach, meaning you re treated by a team of specialists who plan the best path for treating your condition. 4

5 Radiation oncologists, part of North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute, treat tumors using different radiation techniques, including stereotactic radiosurgery. Medical oncologists, also part of North Shore-LIJ Cancer Institute, treat tumors in all parts of the body with medications. Neuroradiologists, part of North Shore-LIJ s Division of Neuroradiology, help diagnose your brain tumor with MRI, CT and PET scans. Neuropathologists, part of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, examine tissue (usually from a biopsy) to diagnose your brain tumor. Rehabilitation specialists, part of the North Shore-LIJ Rehabilitation Network, will recommend the strategy for your care, after surgery. The Tumor Board will look into the details of your condition and determine, with your personal doctor, the best course of action for treatment. How Are Brain Tumors Usually Treated? Surgery North Shore University Hospital is one of the leading hospitals in the United States in the use of the PoleStar Surgical MRI System. We also offer laser interstitial thermal therapy (LITT), an innovative, minimally invasive treatment method, for patients with brain tumors. For the patient this means: Your surgery will have fewer complications. You ll heal quicker, meaning you ll be able to leave the hospital sooner. The tumor is less likely to return because more of it can be removed. 5

6 Radiation therapy and radiosurgery External beams are aimed at the tumor to kill cancer cells and shrink brain tumors. Chemotherapy Chemotherapy kills cancerous cells with one or a combination of drugs. Depending on the kind of drug, these treatments are delivered by mouth, injected directly into an artery or a muscle, or injected into a vein through an IV. Chemotherapy is sometimes used in combination with radiation therapy before or after surgery. Rehabilitation and Recovery You may need to be transferred to a rehabilitation center after surgery for intensive physical therapy. This depends on how well your nervous system is functioning both before and after surgery. The physical therapy team at North Shore University Hospital will make a thorough evaluation after surgery and recommend either inpatient rehabilitation or outpatient physical therapy. After Your Care: Brain Tumor Support Group We offer an educational support group to help adults with brain tumors improve their quality of life and share their experiences. Learn about testing and treatment options, available resources, share information and socialize. For more information contact one of our nurse practitioners at (516) or (516)

7 Researching New Treatments and Cures The Brain Tumor Center is a fully functioning program that offers access to clinical trials to people with a variety of brain tumors. We add new studies to our program as they become available, including both multi-center trials as well as our own investigator-initiated trials. In addition, scientists at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research study conditions related to brain tumors. Through clinical trials, researchers test the effects of new medications and treatments on volunteers with brain tumors. By participating in a clinical trial, you will receive the benefits of the most up-to-date medications and techniques, and you ll also assist in the development of these methods for future patients. For more information about brain tumor clinical trials, please call (516) Treatment at One of the Country s Leading Brain Tumor Centers The Brain Tumor Center at the Center for Advanced Medicine offers state-of-the-art diagnosis and treatment for all benign and malignant tumors of the brain and spine. The Center also offers clinical trials for malignant tumors. 7

8 About North Shore-LIJ Health System One of the nation s largest health systems, North Shore-LIJ delivers world-class clinical care throughout the New York metropolitan area, pioneering research at The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, a visionary approach to medical education highlighted by the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, and healthcare coverage to individuals, families and businesses through the CareConnect Insurance Co. Inc. North Shore-LIJ cares for people at every stage of life at 19 hospitals and more than 400 outpatient physician practices throughout the region. North Shore-LIJ s owned hospitals and long-term care facilities house more than 6,400 beds, employ nearly 11,000 nurses and have affiliations with about 10,000 physicians. With a workforce of more than 51,000, North Shore-LIJ is the largest private employer in New York State. For more information, go to NorthShoreLIJ.com. Brain Tumor Center at the Center for Advanced Medicine 450 Lakeville Road Lake Success, New York Phone: (516) Fax: (516) Office hours: Monday Friday: 8am 5pm Neuro Hotline: NEURO ( ) NeuroCNI.com CK/Creative Srvces a-12-14

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