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Do I Need a Specialized Neurosurgeon for a Low Grade Tumor?

Do I Need a Specialized Neurosurgeon for a Low Grade Tumor?

Question

When looking for treatment for a low grade glioma, is it worth seeking out a place that treats a lot of brain tumors? It would be a lot easier on my family to be local during recovery.

Carol Armstrong, PhD, Director of Neuropsychology Lab, Neuro-Oncology Program at CHOP, responds:

Answer

Any complex disease requires treatment by those medical staff who have the most experience with the disease. This is unarguably true for treatment of brain tumors. The issues involved are best handled by people with a great deal of experience in the diagnosis, surgical resection if possible, chemotherapy treatment, and possibly radiation treatment for the particular tumor that your family member has. It is inconvenient to have to travel far, but is probably critical to go to an academic medical center or a major medical center who has treated thousands of cases of that exact type and severity of tumor.