Neuro-oncology is the branch of cancer care that specializes in diagnosing and treating patients with cancers of the brain and central nervous system, as well as patients experiencing neurologic complications from cancer or cancer therapies. At the Edwards Comprehensive Cancer Center, neuro-oncology care is provided using a multidisciplinary approach. Physicians, cancer specialists, neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists and support staff members work together to plan a comprehensive course of treatment for each patient.

Researchers are studying whether there are risk factors that make some people more likely than others to develop a brain tumor, but so far, only a few have been identified, including:

  • Exposure to ionizing radiation from high-dose X-rays, such as radiation therapy from a large machine aimed at the head
  • Exposure to vinyl chloride, which is a substance used to make plastics
  • Family history/certain genetic syndromes

The symptoms and treatment of brain and spinal cord tumors are different for each person because they depend on where the tumor begins in the brain, what that part of the brain controls and the size of the tumor.