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Brain and Spine Cancers

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Finding out you have cancer in your brain or spine is unsettling. Rest assured that the team at Luminis Health is here for you — before, during and after your diagnosis and treatment.

What Are Brain and Spine Tumors?

Brain and spinal cord (also known as central nervous system) tumors can be benign or malignant.

Tumors that start in the brain or spinal cord are termed primary brain or spinal cord tumors. If they start in another part of the body and spread to the brain or spinal cord, they are called metastatic or secondary to the brain or spinal cord.

Brain tumor treatment options depend on the type of brain tumor you have, as well as its size and location.

Why Choose Luminis Health for Brain and Spine Cancer Care?

Brain and spinal cord cancers require specialized treatment and follow-up. You can trust the medical team at the DeCesaris Cancer Institute to be with you every step of the way. We're the best choice for brain and spine cancer care because of our team approach to care and:

  • Our nurse navigators understand your disease. Our nurse navigators specialize in helping people with brain or spinal cord cancer. Your nurse navigator helps support, guide and advocate for you. A navigator helps you communicate with your doctors and interpret complex care plans.
  • Our neurosurgeons, medical oncologists and radiation oncologists are specialists. You'll have a medical team with advanced training and experience in treating all types of brain and spinal cord cancers. We'll come up with a personalized treatment plan for you.
  • Our social work team. We can help you with the financial and emotional stressors you may experience.
  • We offer genetic counseling. Most brain and spinal cord tumors have no known cause, but there are a few rare genetic disorders that put you at higher risk for brain or spinal cord cancer.
  • Cancer support services to help your well-being. Cancer is a major life event. If you or a loved one has cancer, we're here to help you every step of the way. We offer many different services and resources designed to fit your needs and give you a better, more comfortable experience.
  • We offer physical therapy to help you recover. Getting your balance and coordination back after treatment is easier with our physical therapists by your side.

Diagnosis & Treatments

Brain and Spine Cancer Diagnosis

Diagnosing a brain or spinal cord cancer is challenging. The symptoms can include:

  • Blurred vision.
  • Headaches.
  • Loss of sensation in your arms or legs.
  • Nausea/vomiting.
  • Speech difficulties
  • Confusion.
  • Personality changes.
  • Seizures.


Brain and spine cancer tests and screening

There's no simple early screening test for brain or spinal cord tumors. If we suspect you have a brain or spinal cord tumor, we may order a test like:

This checks if you're having problems with your vision, balance, hearing, coordination, strength or reflexes.

We may order a CT, MRI, angiogram or PET scan to show brain and spinal cord tumors.

A specialized urine test may detect early signs of brain tumors.

This is a small tissue sample from the tumor to help make a diagnosis and determine your treatment plan.

Also called a spinal tap, it helps doctors look for cancer cells in the fluid that surrounds the brain or spinal cord.

Brain and Spine Cancer Treatments

Your treatment for brain or spinal cord cancer has these main objectives: to control or eliminate cancerous masses and to prevent them from recurring. But there's no one-size-fits-all treatment. Your treatment may include:

  • Surgery to biopsy or remove the cancerous tumor.
  • Radiation, which uses high-energy rays to kill the cancer.
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery, a type of radiation treatment that precisely targets beams to destroy tumors without harming healthy tissue. This is a good option if medications can't pass the blood-brain barrier.
  • Chemotherapy if surgery isn't the best option. Chemotherapy drugs can shrink or kill the cancer.
Location Section

Our Locations

Luminis Health Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders Annapolis
2003 Medical Pkwy, Wayson Pavilion, Ste 210, Annapolis, MD 21401
Wayson Pavilion
Location Pin
Luminis Health Neurosurgery Annapolis
2000 Medical Parkway, Belcher Pavilion, Ste 605, Annapolis, MD 21401
LHAAMC Belcher Pavilion
Luminis Health Radiation Oncology
2001 Medical Pkwy, Donner Pavilion, 1st Floor, Annapolis, MD 21401
Donner Pavilion