Advanced Medical Treatment for Brain Cancer

At the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Canter, you have access to the latest in comprehensive brain tumor treatment options. Our expert team of medical and radiation oncologists, radiologists and pathologists collaborate as a team to review and plan each patient's case. Working together, we develop a personalized treatment plan to meet the needs of your specific type and grade of brain cancer.

As a full system of care, leading-edge rehabilitation services are also available. The Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center is a regional cancer care destination, offering these treatment services for residents of Skagit, Island and north Snohomish counties.

Understanding Brain Tumors

Brain tumors in adults can be either malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). A primary malignant brain tumor is a cancerous tumor that originates in the brain tissue. Malignant tumors that start in other parts of the body and then spread to the brain are called metastatic tumors.

In a malignant brain tumor the cells of the brain begin to divide and grow abnormally and out of control, creating a mass or tumor and crowding out normal cells. These malignant (cancerous) cells have lost the behavior of normal cells, which die when they are damaged and have “boundaries” keeping them from spreading to the tissue that surrounds them. Primary brain tumors rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Primary brain tumors are classified by The World Health Organization (WHO) into 4 grades that indicate how aggressive the tumor behaves.

Grading is based on the microscopic appearance of the cells that tell us valuable information, such as:

  • How quickly or slowly the tumor will invade nearby tissue
  • Is the tumor best treated with surgery or a combination of therapy
  • Likelihood the tumor will return after treatment

Treatment for Brain Tumors

For most brain tumors, both malignant and benign, surgery is the first step in treatment. A neurosurgeon (a surgeon specializing in surgery to the brain and nervous system) will attempt to remove as much of the tumor as possible, trying to spare normal brain tissue from damage.

Often, treatment for malignant brain tumors requires a multi-specialty approach to obtain the best outcomes. Options for combination therapy to treat malignant brain tumors include:

  • Radiation therapy - Stereotactic Radiosurgery (SRS) and External Beam Radiation Therapy (EGRT)
  • Chemotherapy and targeted drug therapy-administered either through a vein (IV therapy), by mouth, or directly into the cerebrospinal fluid (CFS, the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord)

Support for Patients with Brain Tumors

Throughout your diagnosis and brain tumor treatment we will help you focus solely on getting well. We are here to answer any questions about our wide range of support services, including:

Brain Tumor Clinical Trials

Physician-researchers are working daily on innovative research through clinical trials to advance progress in fighting cancer. At the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center, your medical team will review new and promising clinical trials that specifically treat malignant brain tumors. If you meet the clinical trial criteria, you have the opportunity to talk more with your provider to determine if a clinical trial is right for you.

For More Information About Brain Tumor Diagnosis and Treatment

To learn more about our brain cancer services, please contact one of our team members at the Skagit Regional Health Cancer Care Center at 360-814-2146. We can help you make an appointment with a cancer care physician at one of our convenient locations. For more information on brain tumors in adults, please visit these trusted sites:

American Cancer Society

National Cancer Institute