Brain and Spine Tumors

Working together, physicians at Tallahassee Memorial treat numerous tumors affecting the brain and spine through a specialized approach focused on each unique patient. This tailored approach means that patients have a complete plan of care that is honed for their particular ailment and seeks to provide them with the best possible outcome. 

Conditions We Treat

With expert physicians, nurses and medical staff in each facet of brain and spinal tumor care, Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare provides patients with complete care for a variety of tumors. With full collaboration between our neuroscience, cancer, pathology, radiology, nursing and social work programs, we provide individualized treatment plans for patients that are aimed to provide the best possible outcomes and quality of life. 

Gliomas

Gliomas form in the supportive tissue of the brain called the "glia." The glia cells organize the brain and support the neurons. The most common site for gliomas to form is in the brain. About 30% of all brain and spinal tumors are gliomas; they also make up 80% of malignant tumors. 

Gliomas are named for the specific type of glial cells from which they form. Gliomas treated at Tallahassee Memorial include:

  • Anaplastic mixed glioma
  • Astocytoma
  • Brainstem glioma
  • Ependymoma
  • Ganglioglioma
  • Gioblastoma
  • Oligodendroglioma
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Optic nerve glioma

Skull base tumors

Skull base tumors are named for the location that they grow in – the bones that form the skull base at the bottom of the head and the bony ridge before the eyes and nose. This area is very difficult to navigate for surgical operations and houses very delicate nerves and blood vessels.

Using an innovative surgical method, stereotactic radiosurgery, our team can provide a precise high dose of radiation to treat tumors and lesions in the skull base without damaging the critical surrounding tissue.

Types of skull base tumors we treat include:

  • Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma)
  • Adenomas
  • Chordomas
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Epidermoid tumor

Brain metastases

Brain metastases are cancerous growths that begin somewhere else in the body and spread to the brain. Often referred to as metastatic brain tumors, these are the most common type of brain tumor.

While many types of cancer can spread to the brain, or other parts of the body, the most common types include:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Breast cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Blood or bone cancers
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymphoma (cancer of the lymph nodes)
  • Melanoma (skin cancer)

Meningiomas

Meningiomas are non-cancerous tumors that grow in the tissues that surround the brain and spinal cord, called the menenges. These are often slow growing tymors that form outside the brain or spinal cord. While they are usually benign, as they grow they may compress the brain, causing symptoms. Generally, these tumors can be surgically removed which often resolves the symptoms.

At TMH, our neurosurgeons can remove these tumors and create treatment plans that provide the best possible outcomes for patients.

Pituitary tumors

Several types of tumors – which are commonly non-cancerous – can grow in the delicate pituitary gland of the brain. The pituitary gland is a small area that is connected to the brain via the hypothalamus, this link creates the endocrine system that controls the body’s hormones. The most common tumor found in the pituitary gland is called a pituitary adenoma. In general, these tumors can be surgically removed by operating through the nose and sinuses, called trans-sphenoidal pituitary surgery.

Neurosurgeons at Tallahassee Memorial, working with a comprehensive team of specialists, treat a variety of pituitary conditions, including:

  • Acromegaly
  • Clinically non-functions pituitary adenoma
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Cushing’s disease
  • Diabetes insipidus
  • Gigantism
  • Nelson’s syndrome
  • Pituitary apoplexy
  • Prolactinoma
  • Rathke’s cleft cyst
  • Thyrotropinoma

Spinal cord tumors

Spinal cord tumors may develop in the spinal cord itself or outside of the cord and may be cancerous or non-cancerous. Cancer from other parts of the body may metastasize to the spine or spinal cord as well.

Tallahassee Memorial’s board-certified neurosurgeons expertly treat tumors of the spine. We treat the following conditions:

  • Astocytoma
  • Ependymoma
  • Meningiomas
  • Schwannomas

Other brain tumors

Tallahassee Memorial’s comprehensive team of neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, neuor-patholgists, neuro-radiologists and nurses meet regularly for a Central Nervous System (CNS) Tumor Conference that prospectively reviews patient cases which allows us to provide the most complete and effective care for patients.

Other tumors we treat include:

  • Brain cysts
  • Choroid plexus papillomas
  • Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma
  • Cystic tumors
  • Dermoid tumors
  • Germinomas
  • Pineal tumors
  • Vascular tumors

Treatments

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare takes a specialized approach to treating brain and spine tumors. With a vast amount of treatment options, and richly collaborative relationships between disciplines, TMH is able to create tailored treatment plans that are specific to each patient and their tumor.

Treatment options at TMH include:

  • Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy, often called "chemo," is the use of drugs (chemicals) to kill cancer cells in the body. Tallahassee Memorial's Cancer Center offers a robust chemotherapy program that includes a variety of ways to administer the medicine. 
  • Neurosurgery: Tallahassee Memorial's board-certified neurosurgeons offer a full spectrum of neurosurgical care for patients. 
  • Minimally invasive neurosurgery: Tallahassee Memorial is the only hospital in our region with the innovative technology and specially-trained physicians to provide minimally invasive neurosurgery.
  • Radiation oncology: Utilizing the Novalis Tx, the region's most advanced radiosurgery system, radiation oncologists and neurosurgeons are able to pinpoint specific areas to treat while sparing healthy, critical tissue. 

Contact Us

For more information on treatments, conditions we treat, our physicians or questions, please contact us online.