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Rare Brain Tumors

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There are more than 100 different types of brain tumors, some that are cancerous and some that are benign. Many types of brain tumors are rare, affecting only hundreds or thousands of people each year. Brain tumors can occur in people of all ages, though they are the second most common cancer in children.

Many brain tumors cause similar symptoms. These symptoms may include:

  • Difficulty with balance or coordination
  • Difficulty walking
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Personality or behavior changes
  • Vision problems or double vision
  • Vomiting

At the Brain Tumor Initiative, we care for all types of brain tumors, from the very rare to the more common. We use the latest technology and research to accurately identify your brain tumor and provide personalized treatment.


Neurological Exam
Your doctor may perform a neurological exam to test balance, vision, and other aspects of your brain health. These tests can help determine if you may have a brain tumor.

Computerized Tomography (CT) Scan
A CT scan is an X-ray of your brain that doctors can view in individual slices to identify any gliomas.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
An MRI is an imaging scan of your brain that uses no radiation, but creates a highly detailed image of your brain.

Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan
PET scans use special dyes and radioactive materials to locate cancer cells throughout the body, including in the brain.

A neurosurgeon can remove tumor cells to study in a lab. Your surgeon may use a specialized needle to remove cells or may remove cells during a surgery to remove the entire brain tumor.


Medical Monitoring
Certain types of brain tumors are slow growing. They may or may not cause any symptoms. If you have one of these types of tumors, you may only need MRIs every few months to ensure the tumor does not grow.

If your brain tumor is causing symptoms, a neurosurgeon will remove as much of the tumor as possible during surgery.

Whole-Brain Radiation Therapy
In some cases, the entire tumor cannot be removed because it is too close to important structures in the brain. In these instances, you may need multiple sessions of whole-brain radiation therapy to destroy the remaining tumor cells.

Gamma Knife® Radiosurgery
During Gamma Knife® radiosurgery, multiple weak beams of radiation are pointed at your brain tumor. Where all the beams meet, there is strong radiation. You may need only one radiosurgery treatment to destroy glioma tumors.

Clinical Trials
At the Brain Tumor Initiative, we provide access to the latest experimental treatments through clinical trials. These treatments give you additional treatment options if your tumor does not respond to other treatments.

Why Choose Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center?

Sylvester is an NCI-designated cancer center. The National Cancer Institute has recognized Sylvester for its outstanding work conducting research in its laboratories, treating patients in its clinics and hospitals, and reaching out to medically underserved communities with innovative prevention strategies.

Groundbreaking brain tumor treatment. Experts from Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and UHealth make up one of the largest and most complete teams for brain tumor treatment in the United States. Through multi-disciplinary cooperation, our team employs innovative procedures like awake craniotomies, Gamma Knife® radiosurgery, and many other techniques. We use the least invasive neurosurgical techniques on both adults and children, which reduces recovery time and makes a significant difference in your quality of life.

Dedicated brain tumor experts. Your care team consists of specialized physicians and researchers who are committed to brain tumor care. Your team may include neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, radiation oncologists, neuropathologists, and other physicians who focus solely on treating brain tumors. Their years of experience and expertise help you find the right treatment for you.

Innovative research that changes the future of brain tumor care. As the only academic medical center in the area, we are on the cutting edge of brain tumor treatment and research. As a patient, you also have access to the innovative research and the latest in clinical trials. Our ongoing translational and clinical research has spawned promising treatments like the heat shock protein vaccine and targeted therapies designed for your specific type of brain tumor.

International leaders in brain tumor care. We play a vital role in the community, thanks to our groundbreaking research and patient care for people in Florida, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. We’re turning Miami into the healthcare capital of the Americas. We’re creating one of the premier brain tumor centers in the country.

Surgical expertise. We perform thousands of brain tumor surgeries every year and care for more brain tumors than any other health center in Florida. Our skilled neurosurgeons are consistently pioneering new treatments. From minimally invasive spine surgeries to awake craniotomies, we offer unique surgeries you cannot find anywhere else in the region.

Concierge service. Our patients do not have to figure it all out alone. You are assigned a concierge coordinator who is there for you and your family while you are in our care. They connect you with other providers you may need, walk you through the surgery process, and can answer any questions you or your family may have.

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