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Brain Cancer

At MaineHealth, our medical specialists in neurology and oncology work together to provide complete treatment and care for patients with brain tumors. We offer compassionate and supportive care to patients with brain cancer and their families.

What is brain cancer?

A brain tumor results when abnormal cells grow in brain tissue. Brain tumors can be benign, with no cancer cells, or malignant, with cancer cells that grow quickly.

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Brain Cancer Signs

Symptoms of brain cancer can include progressive headaches, blurred vision, confused thinking, dizziness, numbness, seizures and weakness. However, there is no symptom that is specific for brain cancer, and many patients may have the above symptoms and not have brain cancer. If you are having symptoms, or are worried about a loved one, check in with your primary care doctor or family health care provider.

Evaluating Patients for Brain Cancer

Your provider may decide to:

  • Check your vision, hearing, alertness, coordination, and reflexes
  • Examine your eyes for swelling that could be caused by a tumor
  • Have you undergo diagnostic scans that include an MRI and CT scan

Brain Cancer Treatment Can Vary

Treatment for brain cancer depends on the cancer grade and cancer type.  Common treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted therapies
  • Clinical trials
  • Complementary and integrative therapies

Comprehensive Approach May Include Clinical Trials

Depending on the diagnosis, patients may be referred to a brain cancer specialist. Patients also may receive treatment at the Brain Tumor Program at Maine Medical Center in Portland, which allows local access to clinical trials. The program is a joint effort between the Neuroscience and Cancer Institutes at Maine Medical Center. Specialists offer a comprehensive approach to treating brain tumors, and patients coping with the side effects of brain cancer.