Malignant Brain Tumors
Malignant tumors have cells that look and act very differently than normal cells. A malignant tumor means a patient has cancer. Because these cancer cells can invade surrounding tissue very quickly, aggressive treatment is necessary.
When you call the Ivy Brain Tumor Center for a consultation, we make it a point to see you as soon as possible – within 24 hours if necessary. Surgeries to remove tumors are often done within a week of consultations, and pre-operative procedures can be done the same day as a consultation.
There are three categories of malignant brain tumors:
- Low-grade gliomas are slow growing tumors which start from cells in the brain
- High-grade gliomas, including glioblastomas, are rapidly growing tumors which start from cells in the brain
- Metastatic brain tumors grow from cancer cells that travel to the brain from another part of the body
Grading Brain Tumors to Determine Type
Tumors are graded to indicate prognosis and their rate of growth. During a surgery, or following a biopsy, a pathologist grades a brain tumor based on its cellular makeup and location.
Grades I and II are low-grade tumors that grow slowly and generally stay localized in an area of the brain. They are more commonly found in younger patients. Grade II astrocytomas can spread.
Grades III and IV are high-grade tumors. They can spread throughout the brain and spinal cord.
Knowing the grades of tumors help physicians decide which treatments will work best.
Treatment Options for Benign vs. Malignant Brain Tumors
In the videos below, Dr. Greg Foltz of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute discusses the differences in treating benign and malignant brain tumors. Dr. Foltz describes brain tumor removal, surgical and non-surgical, hospital stay, and follow-up treatment.
Ben and Catherine Ivy Center for Advanced Brain Tumor Treatment550 17th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98122
Map & Directions
Diagnosed with a Brain tumor?
The Ivy Brain Tumor Center has a multidisciplinary team of physicians, nurses and social workers who specialize in treating people with benign and malignant brain tumors.
Need a second opinion?
Brain cancer is life-changing
Watch Dr. Greg Foltz video
At the Ivy Center, patients and their families have access to a wide range of support services.