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Neuro Library
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Brain Tumor Care

Kettering Health Network's dedication to the latest technology in brain surgery has made it the clear choice for patients for over 50 years. From the first Gamma Knife procedure in the region, to today's MRI-guided laser brain surgery, The Neuroscience Institute is your choice for all things brain.

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When you are facing the possibility of brain surgery you want to know you are receiving the highest level of treatment and care. For over 50 years, Kettering Health Network has been among the first to offer the most innovative brain and spine care technology.

A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cells within the brain. These tumors may be primary (starting in the brain) or metastatic (travels from another part of the body to the brain). Brain tumors are either benign (non-cancerous), or malignant (invasive and cancerous).

Even if a brain tumor is benign, it can still be dangerous. When a tumor grows, it can push or press on an area of the brain and possibly prevent that part of the brain from functioning the way it should. It is important that all brain tumors be evaluated, and a treatment plan determined as soon as possible.


Most brain tumors appear in the upper part of the brain. This is the region of the brain that controls thought, emotion, reasoning, and language.

These symptoms occur due to pressure on the brain created by the tumor.

Symptoms may include:
  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Weakness and/or numbness in the arms or legs
  • Loss of balance or trouble walking
  • Difficulty with speech
  • Trouble thinking
  • Vision problems
  • Unusual changes in behavior or personality.

To determine the exact cause of these symptoms, your neuroscience team will perform neurological evaluations and neuro diagnostic testing.

Types of Tumors

Primary brain tumors are those that start in the brain itself. The most common types of primary brain tumors in adults are gliomas, glioblastomas and lymphomas. Primary brain tumors can be benign (non cancerous) or malignant (fast growing cells). Malignant tumors grow rapidly and invade surrounding healthy brain structures. Benign tumors are not cancerous and grow slowly. Benign tumors very rarely become malignant.

Examples of benign brain tumors are:
  • Meningiomas: A tumor that grows from the meninges of the brain. These are generally benign, but can be malignant.
  • Acoustic Neuroma: Benign tumor on the ear nerve
  • Pituitary Adenoma: Benign tumor on the pituitary gland

Metastatic, or secondary tumors, start in another part of the body and spread to the brain. These tumors can often be controlled with aggressive management and new treatment options. Our multi-disciplinary team of physicians will determine the best treatment option for you.

Brain tumors are named for the type of cells or part of the brain they started in. The World Health Organization (WHO) classification system is used to classify brain tumors by cell origin and how the cells behave, from the least aggressive, (benign)-WHO I, to the most aggressive (malignant)-WHO IV.