Why choose us for benign brain tumor care?
Benign (noncancerous) tumors require specialized expertise to protect your long-term health. At Mays Cancer Center, home to UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, you are in expert hands.
Here, doctors with different specialties collaborate to deliver a precise diagnosis and personalized treatment. This team approach is uncommon in San Antonio and South Texas.
Our fellowship-trained neurosurgeons are skilled in techniques that enable us to remove brain tumors precisely. For example, we offer stereotactic radiosurgery. This advanced type of radiation therapy can treat some brain tumors without a single incision.
Find out more about our neuro-oncology (brain tumor) program.
What you need to know about benign brain tumors
- A benign brain tumor is a mass of noncancerous cells that grows inside the brain. By contrast, a malignant brain tumor (also called brain cancer) consists of cancerous cells.
- Benign brain tumors tend to grow slowly and are unlikely to spread outside the brain.
- A benign brain tumor may cause minor to severe symptoms, depending on its size and location. A tumor that presses against vital tissues or nerves may impair your ability to speak, see or remember things.
- Doctors often recommend removing benign brain tumors to protect your long-term health. In some cases, you may not need immediate treatment.
- People with benign brain tumors usually need lifelong monitoring. We personalize a follow-up plan to your needs. Regular testing helps us track changes in your health so we can act promptly should a concern arise.
How to talk to your doctor about benign brain tumors
You may be surprised to learn that you have a benign brain tumor. We help you understand your diagnosis and take the time to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
You might want to ask your doctor about:
- Additional testing, if any, you may need to guide diagnosis or treatment
- Tumor type, including how a benign brain tumor could affect your health now or in the future
- Treatment options, including whether you need treatment now and what to expect if your doctor recommends surgery
- Support services, including resources that can help you manage any physical or emotional challenges during treatment
- Lifelong care, including how and how often your doctor recommends monitoring you in the months and years ahead
We consider what’s important to you when developing your treatment recommendations. We encourage you to bring family or loved ones with you to appointments to support you in making important treatment decisions.
Common types of benign brain tumors include:
- Acoustic neuroma (also called a vestibular schwannoma) grows on the nerves near your inner ear. It may affect your balance or hearing abilities.
- Meningioma is a type of brain tumor that is usually benign and tends to grow slowly.
- Pituitary adenoma is a tumor that occurs on the pituitary gland, located at the bottom of the skull. Pituitary tumors can sometimes affect your hormone production, which may cause you to feel sick or not like yourself.