Brain and Spine Tumor Treatment
At Rush, your doctors will work with you to create a treatment plan that takes into account your age, health and medical history; the type, size and location of your tumor; and your goals and preferences.
The treatment plan may include one or more of the following options.
If you have a brain tumor, surgery probably will be the first step in treatment. Your surgeon will work to remove as much of the tumor as possible while maintaining brain function. Surgeons at Rush have expertise in a variety of procedures, including the removal of:
- Brain tumors
- Pituitary tumors
- Tumors related to the eye
- Tumors related to the ear, nose or throat
- Children’s brain tumors
- Spine tumors
- Skull base tumors
They use advanced techniques, including minimally invasive surgery for spine tumors. Patients usually recover in our neurologic intensive care unit, which is staffed by doctors and nurses specially trained to treat patients after brain surgery.
Chemotherapy and biological therapy
The type of chemotherapy — or cancer-fighting drug — you may need will depend on the type of tumor you have, among other things. Your neuro-oncologist (a doctor who specializes in treating brain and spine tumors) might also suggest biological therapy. Biological therapy is a kind of medicine that activates your immune system to fight the cancer.
Depending on the type and size of your tumor, radiation may kill it, keep it from growing or reduce pain and improve quality of life. Doctors at Rush use technologies designed to deliver high doses of radiation to tumors while limiting damage to surrounding tissue.
Doctors at Rush are also researchers seeking new brain and spine tumor treatments. Through clinical trials, they can offer some patients experimental medications and procedures that are not widely available.
Rush is the only medical center in Chicago that belongs to the North Central Cancer Treatment Group, a national clinical research group based at the Mayo Clinic and sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. That means Rush can give patients access to trials not available anywhere else in Chicago.
Metastatic brain cancer treatment
If your cancer has spread to the brain from another organ, doctors at Rush can help you and your care team figure out the next steps in your treatment plan.
Rush offers a full range of complementary therapies such as acupuncture, biofeedback, guided imagery and massage. These therapies can help relieve symptoms and side effects such as muscle tension, stress, anxiety, pain, nausea and low energy.
Having a brain or spine tumor can affect motor skills and muscle strength. At Rush, we have rehabilitation specialists, including speech, physical and occupational therapists, who can work closely with you and the rest of your care team to help you regain lost abilities.
Rush offers brain tumor care in multiple locations, including Chicago, Lisle and Oak Park, Ill.
To schedule an appointment in Chicago or Lisle, call (888) 352-RUSH (7874).
To schedule an appointment in Oak Park, call (708) 660-INFO (4636).