Let’s Go Gray in May for Brain Tumor Awareness Month

Our neurosurgical teams at Ascension Wisconsin specialize in the diagnosis and surgical management of brain tumors.

By: Andrew Beykovsky, MD and Kenneth Reichert, MD

What is a brain tumor?

A brain tumor is abnormal growth of cells in the brain. Brain tumors can be cancerous or non-cancerous. The brain plays a vital role in the majority of our bodily functions including mobility, personality, awareness, sensation, speech and thoughts. A tumor of the brain can affect these bodily functions as it grows and potentially cause severe symptoms. 

What is the difference between cancerous and non-cancerous brain tumors?

A cancerous brain tumor is more aggressive and usually results in quicker growth and multiplying of the cells. These tumors can injure other areas of the brain and central nervous system, but do not tend to spread outside the brain. Cancerous brain tumors need to be treated as soon as possible to improve health outcomes. 

A non-cancerous brain tumor is less aggressive and usually grows slower, but if these tumors grow to a point where they begin to cause neurological symptoms , then surgery is usually recommended. 

Brain tumor types and treatment options

The American Brain Tumor Association reports over 700,000 Americans are living with a brain tumor. Brain tumors can be both primary (originating from the brain), or metastatic (originating from another part of the body). Metastatic, or secondary brain tumors, commonly come from the lung or breast and spread to the brain. Primary brain tumors are most commonly a glioma, a tumor that forms when glial cells grow out of control, or a meningioma, a tumor that forms on the membranes that cover the brain just under the skull. 

Your brain tumor treatment depends upon your overall health, the location, type and size of your tumor. You and your doctor will discuss which option is right for you.

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy

According to the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States annual report, more than 84,000 people were diagnosed with a primary brain tumor in 2021. Our neurosurgical teams at Ascension Wisconsin specialize in the diagnosis and surgical management of brain tumors. Our team collaborates with oncology and radiation specialists to maximize treatment options. 

To learn more about the neurosurgery program at Ascension Wisconsin, visit our website: Brain and spine surgery in Wisconsin.

Kenneth Reichert, MD and Andrew Beykovsky, MD are neurosurgeons with Ascension Medical Group. They see patients at the Ascension Medical Group Wisconsin - Elmbrook Medical Office Building, 19475 W. North Avenue in Brookfield. For appointments call 262-785-2263.