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Brain Tumors: Home

What Are Brain Tumors?

The body is made up of many types of cells. Normally, cells grow, divide, and produce more cells as needed to keep the body healthy and functioning properly. Sometimes, however, the process goes wrong and cells become abnormal, forming more cells in an uncontrolled way. These extra cells form a mass of tissue, called a growth or tumor. Tumors can be benign, which means not cancerous, or malignant, which means cancerous.

Both benign and malignant tumors cause signs and symptoms and need treatment. Benign brain and spinal cord tumors grow and press on nearby areas of the brain but rarely spread into other parts of the brain. Malignant brain and spinal cord tumors are likely to grow quickly and spread into other parts of the brain.

Primary brain tumors are tumors that start in the brain. Metastatic or secondary brain tumors started in a different area of the body and have moved into the brain. Primary brain tumors are treated differently from metastatic or secondary brain tumors.

There are over 120 types of brain and spinal cord tumors. They form in different cell types and different areas of the brain and spinal cord. The signs and symptoms of brain and spinal cord tumors depend on where the tumor forms, its size, how fast it is growing, and the age of the patient.The prognosis (chance of recovery) depends on many factors, including age, tumor size, tumor type, and where the tumor is in the central nervous system.

In this guide, we have included general information about some of the more common types of brain tumors. If you have questions about a specific diagnosis not listed in this guide, please contact the Library and we can assist you with a personalized information search.

Source: National Cancer Institute - Brain Cancer

Image source: BruceBlaus (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Helpful Websites

Frankly Speaking About Cancer: Brain Tumors 
Cancer Support Community

This booklet discusses treatments, side effect management, the emotional impact of a brain tumor diagnosis, and helpful tips to address these issues.

 

Brain Tumors: A Handbook for the Newly Diagnosed
American Brain Tumor Association
Available in print at the Cancer Resource Library

Offers practical tips on coping with a brain tumor diagnosis and basic information on the different kinds of brain tumors.

 

 

 

 

Caregiver Handbook: Managing Brain Tumor Side Effects & Symptoms
American Brain Tumor Association
Available in print at the Cancer Resource Library

Information on the role of a caregiver, navigating the healthcare system, managing side effects and symptoms, and self-care.

 

 

Brain Tumor Support Group

The Brain Tumor Support Group provides a place where those living with a brain tumor and their families can exchange information and provide mutual support. 

Date and Time
3rd Tuesday of each month, 5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
For upcoming dates and times, check the Cancer Center calendar.

Location
Ridley-Tree Cancer Center
540 W. Pueblo St.
Resource Library, 1st Floor
Parking is available on the property.

This program is offered free-of-charge. A light dinner will be provided. All support groups are facilitated by professional staff. For more information, please call Adele Fergusson at (805) 886-8148.

Supportive Care Programs at the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center

The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center has one of the largest Genetic Counseling departments in California. We offer hereditary cancer risk counseling to help patients and families with a history of cancer better understand and manage the risk of developing cancer through genetic risk assessment and genetic testing.Our Genetic Counselors translate complex genetic information into understandable recommendations for patients, physicians, and families. 

For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5653.

The Oncology Dietitian Nutritionists at the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provide evidence-based recommendations that are proven by scientific research and clinical experience. Education and support are provided to help prevent treatment delays and decrease side effects from treatment. Once treatment for cancer is complete, our nutrition experts can recommend personalized food choices that will support treatment outcomes, enhance the quality of life, and decrease the risk of disease recurrence. Monthly seminars provide an opportunity to discuss the most recent research related to cancer, foods and your lifestyle. Services are offered free-of-charge to individuals currently in treatment or within one year of their last treatment.

For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5652. 

The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides Patient Navigation services in order to assist patients on the journey to live with, through, and beyond cancer. Navigators serve as a liaison between individual patients and the various healthcare providers required for proper diagnosis, treatment, and disease management.

Navigators offer coordination of care throughout a cancer patient's experience, by:

  • Explaining medical procedures and providing cancer information
  • Ensuring medical appointments are scheduled and kept
  • Coordinating and streamlining insurance information
  • Identifying local resources and appropriate support
  • Enhancing communication between care providers

Navigation is available per physician referral and is offered free-of-charge. For more information, contact the Patient Navigation department at (805) 879-0660 or navigator@ridleytreecc.org.

At the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center’s Resource Library, we aim to empower anyone touched by cancer with the knowledge they need to become well-informed partners in their healthcare. The Resource Library offers a comfortable place where patients and families can find current, comprehensive information about all aspects of cancer. Services include research assistance, a lending library and online information guides. The Resource Library is open to all and services are offered at no charge.

For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or contact the Resource Library at (805) 879-5648 or library@ridleytreecc.org.

Visit Us:
540 W Pueblo St
Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 4:30pm

Cancer can involve significant psychological, social, and economic challenges for patients and their families. How and if these challenges are addressed is an important aspect of a patient’s care plan. The Ridley-Tree Cancer Center employs clinical social workers who provide emotional and practical support for patients, their families, and their friends. Oncology Social Workers can provide advocacy and referrals as well as individual and family counseling services.

Services are available at no cost and are available to anyone in our community, regardless of where they are receiving medical care. 

For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5690.  

A wide range of wellness activities, classes and programs are available to our patients and their caregivers. Programs include yoga, qigong, exercise programs, painting, flower arranging, music therapy, meditation and more. Upcoming dates can be found on the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center online calendar.

Programs offered free-of-charge. For more information including who qualifies for Ridley-Tree Cancer Center Wellness Programs & Classes and class descriptions, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or call (805) 879-5678. 

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Books at the Cancer Resource Library

Brain Tumor Introduction Video

Resources provided by the Cancer Resource Library are for informational purposes only. The information in these materials may or may not apply to your specific condition, and should not be construed as medical advice. We strongly encourage you to consult your healthcare provider to review anything you learn through these resources.

Ridley-Tree Cancer Center provides comprehensive cancer treatment and support programs for patients and families. We are recognized for medical excellence, a strong clinical research program, and a multidisciplinary approach to cancer prevention.

Cancer Resource Library | 540 West Pueblo Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93105 | (805) 563-5807 | library@ridleytreecc.org | www.ridleytreecc.org