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Neuro-oncology focuses on cancers affecting the brain, skull base and spinal cord. You can trust that our team will map a treatment path to a healthier you using breakthrough neuro-oncology treatments like Gamma Knife surgery.

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Are neurological cancers curable?

The nervous system is the conductor of your body's orchestra. Everything from movement and organ function to emotions and feelings are traced back to signals from your brain, spine and nerves. When a tumor disrupts that rhythm, there can be serious effects on your health and wellbeing.

Detecting and treating neurological cancers early on offers the greatest success outcome. At the same time, some cancers aren't curable because of the tumor's location or how far the cancer has spread.

No matter what condition you're living with, you can count on us to place your comfort and quality of life at the forefront of your care plan.

Neuro-oncologist Suriya Jeyapalan, MD, MPH sees a patient in clinic appointment at Tufts Medical Center's Cancer Center.
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Our neuro-oncology team includes some of our brightest minds in medicine, with experience treating the full range of neurological cancers, including:

  • Brain tumors (gliomas, meningiomas, acoustic neuromas and medulloblastomas) 
  • Brain metastases (cancer from other parts of the body that has spread to the brain)
  • Leptomeningeal carcinomatosis (cancer cells that spread to the layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord)
  • Oligodendrogliomas (primary central nervous system tumors)
  • Spinal cord tumors

Neurological cancer symptoms

Different parts of the nervous system control many types of bodily functions. That's why neurological cancer symptoms often relate to the tumor's location.

Examples of neurological cancer symptoms include:

  • Difficulty walking
  • Headache
  • Impaired vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Speech problems
  • Weakness in parts of the body

These symptoms are usually caused by:

  • A tumor blocking the flow of fluids around the brain and spinal cord
  • A tumor pressing on brain tissue
  • Swelling of tissues around the tumor


There are no screening tests currently available that detect neurological cancers early on. This is why we see most people after they start showing symptoms.

While we tailor each neurological cancer treatment path to your unique needs, everyone's care begins with a physical exam and review of your health history. We'll work with our colleagues in radiology to order imaging tests like a CT scan, MRI and PET scan to understand your condition better.

Another way we can confirm if brain cancer is present and what type of tumor you have is with a stereotactic biopsy. During this procedure, we insert a small needle into your skull to obtain a sample of the tumor and examine it under a microscope.



We offer a range of advanced techniques, including chemotherapy, neurosurgery, radiation therapy and targeted drug therapies, to give you the best care possible. You can trust that our team will provide exceptional care, from shrinking tumors and managing side effects to monitoring your progress and providing emotional support to you and your loved ones.

Gamma Knife surgery

We are proud to offer Gamma Knife surgery, a non-invasive technique that allows us to perform brain surgery without making any incisions. Our state-of-the-art technology enables us to operate on the brain using only hyper-focused radiation. As one of the only health systems in Massachusetts and northern New England that provides this advanced treatment, you can trust that you're getting the best care possible.

Anasuya Gunturi MD, PhD talks with patient at Lowell General Hospital's Women's Wellness Center clinic appointment.
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From regular office visits to inpatient stays, find the healthcare you need and deserve close to home.

Neuro-oncologist Suriya Jeyapalan, MD, MPH is talking to a patient about paperwork on a clipboard in clinic appointment at Tufts Medical Center's Cancer Center.
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