Pineal tumors make up between three and eight percent of all childhood brain tumors and up to one percent of brain tumors overall. These tumors are complex and the exact treatment strategy for each individual patient requires decision making at the highest level.
Thankfully for anyone dealing with this frightening diagnosis, there are specialists like neurosurgeon, Dr. Jeffrey Bruce from the Brain Tumor Center who are committed to understanding these tumors and continually improving treatment methods.
Pineal tumors are located in the center of the brain on or near the pineal gland, which is responsible for the secretion of certain hormones. Tumors in this area can cause a variety of symptoms including headaches, hormone disruptions, and most commonly hydrocephalus–a build up of fluid on the brain.
The cellular makeup and exact origin of these tumors can vary widely and warrants the attention of researchers and neurosurgeons like Dr. Bruce. The first line of treatment is usually surgical, but it may also include radiation, chemotherapy, and/or stereotactic radiosurgery.
Dr. Bruce and Columbia neurosurgery resident, Dr. Adam Sonabend gave an insightful overview of these complex tumors and current treatment strategies in an article published recently in World Neurosurgery, the official journal of the World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies.
You can read their article, Management Paradigms Along a Histologic Spectrum of Pineal Cell Tumors, online here or in the Perspectives section of the May/June 2014 issue of the journal.
You can also just be grateful that surgeons like Dr. Bruce and Dr. Sonabend are on top of it, and when decisions have to be made, you can rest assured that they are making the most informed choices on your behalf.
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