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.
Image source: BruceBlaus (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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 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.
The Elly Nadel Music Therapy Program provides music therapy services and support to cancer patients, family members and loved ones in a way that meets physical, social, emotional and spiritual needs in a one-on-one or group setting. Activities include listening to music, using instruments, improvisation, songwriting, singing and more.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all classes are currently being offered online via Zoom. For more information including a schedule of upcoming classes, see the Cancer Center Calendar or call (805) 879-5654.
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.
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.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Resource Library is currently closed to visitors. Library materials and services are still available via mail, phone and email. For more information, visit the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center website or contact the Resource Library at (805) 879-5648 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A wide range of wellness activities, classes and programs are available to our patients and their caregivers. Programs include yoga, exercise programs, painting, flower arranging, meditation and more. Upcoming dates can be found on the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center online calendar.
Programs offered free-of-charge. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all Wellness classes are currently being offered online via Zoom. 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.
This group provides a safe place for those who are newly diagnosed with cancer to share and learn coping skills for the cancer journey. The group will discuss common issues that affect most people when they are initially diagnosed, such as shock, sharing the diagnosis or not, regaining control, dealing with a new self-image, living with uncertainty, and more.
Schedule: 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
This program is offered free-of-charge and is facilitated by professional staff. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, support groups are currently meeting online via Zoom. For more information including how to register, see the Ridley-Tree Cancer Center calendar or email Rosario Campuzano-Cortez at email@example.com.
Brain Tumor - An Introduction, with Susan Chang, MD
Dr. Susan Chang provides an overview on brain tumors in adults, including the various types, symptoms, diagnosis, treatments, and current advances.
Brain Tumors: What You Need to Know
Ryan Merrell, MD gives an overview of the different types of brain tumors, how they are diagnosed, how symptoms are managed, and how some specific tumors are treated. He discusses some of the most recent advances in the field of Neuro-Oncology.
The American Brain Tumor Association offers many videos on their YouTube channel to support brain tumor patients and caregivers. Videos provide information on treatment, symptom management, coping, nutrition, and much more.