A tumor is an abnormal growth caused by division of cells. The best treatment option for a tumor depends on where the tumor is located within the body. Even benign (non-cancerous) tumors may be surgically removed if they are affecting nerves or blood vessels, or if they could lead to more problems down the road. Some benign tumors on the face or neck are removed for cosmetic reasons.
However, surgical removal of a tumor is just one part of treatment for many tumors. Often, malignant (cancerous) and metastasized (spreading) tumors require a combination treatment that involves surgical removal, chemotherapy, and radiation. In some cases, only part of a tumor may be removed so that chemotherapy and radiation can be more effective.
Usually, an endoscopic technique is used for tumor removal in order to allow for small incisions and quicker healing. Computer assisted, key hole, and gamma knife approaches are all possibilities for tumor removal.
The risks for tumor removal are relevant to the area of the brain or spinal cord that is affected by the procedure.