Brain Tumor Awareness Month: Benign vs. Malignant Brain Tumors

May marks the recognition of National Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Community organizations and support groups honor this time with increased efforts to raise awareness of brain tumors, increase funding for research and educate the public on symptoms and treatment options.

There are more than 120 different types of brain tumors that are classified as either benign or malignant. Read below for the key differences between the two types according to the American Brain Tumor Association:

  • Benign: Benign or noncancerous brain tumors are typically slow-growing and rarely spread to other areas of the body. They often have well-defined borders, so surgical removal can be an effective treatment. However, the location of a benign brain tumor can have a significant impact on treatment options and may be as serious and life-threatening as a malignant tumor. For tumors located near critical structures such as the brain stem, noninvasive treatment options like CyberKnife may be warranted.

  • Malignant: Unlike benign tumors, malignant tumors are cancerous, tend to grow faster and can be more invasive and life threatening. Malignant tumors have the ability to spread from one organ to another. It is very rare for a primary brain tumor to spread beyond the brain or spine. Secondary tumors that develop in the brain from cancer cells that have spread from another part of the body are called brain metastases. Patients with metastatic cancer may develop multiple brain metastases.

Reno CyberKnife’s experienced team of physicians treats malignant and benign tumors in the brain, as well as brain metastases, by delivering targeted radiation directly to the tumor using CyberKnife® technology. Treatment with CyberKnife is complete in one to five outpatient sessions, and patients are allowed to go home immediately after each procedure to resume normal activities. Contact our center for more information or read more about our multidisciplinary approach to treating brain tumors.

This is not intended as medical advice to replace the expertise and judgment of your health care team. It is intended to help you and your family make informed decisions, together with your doctor.