Brain Tumor Specialist

David Newell, MD

Cerebrovascular, Spinal, and Brain Tumor Neurosurgery located in Bellevue, WA

It’s normal to feel scared when you’re dealing with a brain tumor, but David Newell, MD is a nationally and internationally recognized neurologist who can guide you through the treatment process. At his practice in Seattle, Washington, Dr. Newell provides evaluation and treatment for numerous neurological conditions, including brain tumors. If you’ve been diagnosed with or suspect a brain tumor, call the office or book an appointment online.

Brain Tumor Q & A

What is a brain tumor?

A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cells in your brain or central spine that interferes with your brain function. There are more than 120 different kinds of tumors associated with the brain and central nervous system that fall into several categories, including:

  • Benign: least aggressive, slow-growing, and typically don’t spread
  • Malignant: grow rapidly, invade other tissue, and are life-threatening
  • Atypical: neither benign nor malignant, but something in between
  • Primary: originate in the brain and can spread to the spine
  • Metastatic: start in other parts of your body and spread to the brain

The most common types of primary brain tumors are meningiomas and gliomas. Metastatic or secondary tumors are more common than primary brain tumors.

What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?

The symptoms of a brain tumor vary depending on its location and type. In some cases, no signs are present; other times, you may experience:

  • Personality changes
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Challenges understanding and talking
  • Coordination issues or hand tremors
  • Muscle weakness in the arm, leg, or face
  • Chronic headaches, especially upon waking or while sleeping
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Seizures

Your risk of developing a brain tumor increases as you age. They’re also more common in Caucasians and people exposed to cancer-causing chemicals or ionizing radiation.

How is a brain tumor diagnosed and treated?

The first step in diagnosing a brain tumor is a comprehensive physical examination and review of your medical history. During this appointment, Dr. Newell also conducts a neurological exam and checks your cranial nerves. He might also test your coordination, memory, muscle strength, and ability to solve simple math calculations.

Based on your examination and symptoms, Dr. Newell may recommend additional testing, such as an MRI with contrast dye, angiography, or skull X-rays. To determine if a brain tumor is malignant or benign, Dr. Newell performs a biopsy to test your tumor cells.

Brain tumors are different in each person and require customized treatment options. Surgery is often the first course of treatment for most malignant tumors as well as benign tumors that are considered clinically dangerous.

Depending on the size and type of your brain tumor, you might benefit from other cancer treatments like chemotherapy and radiation in addition to surgery.

To learn more about brain tumors and treatment, call David Newell, MD or schedule an appointment online.