What is a skull base tumour?

Tumours near or at the base of the skull are considered critically important as they:

  1. Are very difficult to access
  2. In close proximity to all the critical blood vessels of the brain
  3. Arise from or are very close to critical structures responsible for wakefulness, hormonal normalcy, or even breathing or heart activity.

What are the common Symptoms of skull base tumors?

Some common symptoms are:

  • Hearing loss
  • Deterioration in vision
  • Nausea
  • Muscle weakness
  • Imbalance
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Seizures
  • Loss of neurological function
  • Persistent headaches
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Change in vocal sound
  • Confusion
  • Memory loss
  • Change in personality

How are Skull base tumors treated?

Treatment for skull base tumours depends on individual conditions such as size, location, growth and grade of tumour, age of the person, general health status. Treatment options for skull base meningioma are:

  1. Observation or active monitoring with follow-up scans – During this treatment patient is asked to visit neurosurgeon occasionally and need have imaging tests periodically.  
  2. Radiotherapy –This therapy has been used as primary treatment for skull base meningioma. During this therapy x-ray and other forms of radiation is used to destroy or to prevent the growth of the cancer cell.
  3. Surgery – This is the most common mode of treatment for skull base meningioma. To open the skull and remove tumour a craniotomy is performed by a surgeon. A Pathologist will examine biopsy of tissue to determine the grade of tumour. Though total removal of the tumour can provide a cure for skull base meningioma, it is not possible at all times. The tumor position determines exactly how much of the tumour can be carefully removed. If the tumor cannot be totally resected, radiation can treat the remnants of the tumor.

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