Brain Tumours

There exist a large number of different tumours which can affect the brain.

They vary in their rate of growth (malignancy), their size and also their position within the brain and, as a result, require a considered approach to their management.

They may in some cases be identified by chance (incidentally) when a brain scan is acquired for a different reason or they may present with symptoms.

Symptoms may be due to a rise in the normal pressure within the brain due to the size of the tumour (e.g. headaches, nausea, visual symptoms) or they may due to the location of the tumour within the brain (e.g. weakness, visual deficits, speech disturbance and seizure or fit).

The term tumour does not mean cancer. Many brain tumours grow slowly over a long period of time however the distinction between 'benign' and 'malignant' is difficult in the context of brain tumours since slow-growing tumours can still cause symptoms and still require treatment.

My approach to the management of brain tumours focusses on providing each patient with as much information as possible so that we can tailor a treatment to suit each individual.

This requires acquisition of brain scans (such as CT and MRI scans), neurological examination and in some cases formal visual testing, neuropsychological testing and speech and language assessment.

The case of each patient I treat with a brain tumour is reviewed in a specialist multi-disciplinary meeting (MDT) which is attended by surgeons, neurologists, oncologists, radiologists, pathologists and so forth.

I perform all brain tumour procedures at St George's Hospital (NHS and private) since it has experienced neuro-anaesthetists, a dedicated neuro-ITU and cutting-edge operative equipment available (e.g. image guidance, frozen section analysis, ultrasound). I see private patients pre and post operatively in my clinic at Parkside Hospital.

I offer awake surgery for patients with tumours located in high risk brain regions (e.g. close to speech and motor cortex).

In my role as Neuro-Oncology MDT lead clinician at St George's, I have close links with colleagues who specialise in other types of surgery and oncologists who specialise in stereotactic radiotherapy techniques with whom I can discuss and refer your case if necessary.

My links with cutting edge oncology research may enable referring you for novel treatments for your disease.