What is a brain tumor?

When you or a loved one is diagnosed with a brain tumor, the experience can be traumatic. At Main Line Health, our highly skilled neurosurgeons are here to provide exceptional care and remain by your side throughout the journey.

An initial consultation with one of our specialty-trained neurosurgeons runs a full hour in length, allowing the time needed to thoroughly discuss next steps and address the many questions that naturally accompany a new diagnosis. We provide that same level of attention and compassionate care to individuals seeking a second opinion following a diagnosis made elsewhere.

Our experts utilize the most advanced imaging, neuronavigational systems and procedural techniques to further diagnose and skillfully remove the various forms of benign and malignant brain tumors, including acoustic neuroma, glioblastoma, glioma, meningioma, pituitary tumors, skull base tumors and more. From three-dimensional stereotactic-guided neuronavigational systems to minimally invasive endoscopic brain surgery performed through the nose, Main Line Health offers a level of care typically delivered only in the most advanced academic medical centers.

For extraordinarily complex procedures, such as tumor ablation and awake craniotomies, our collaboration with Jefferson Hospital for Neuroscience―one of the most advanced brain tumor care programs in North America―ensures patients have direct access to the latest cutting-edge procedures and investigative therapies. The vast majority of surgical procedures to remove brain tumors―approximately 90 percent―can be performed right here at Main Line Health by our Jefferson-trained experts, offering our patients world-class care close to home.

Diagnosis and testing for brain tumors

Main Line Health offers a full range of diagnostic tools, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT or CAT) scan, position emission tomography (PET) scan, and stereotactic needle biopsies.

Types of brain tumors

There are more than 100 different types of brain tumors―some substantially more common than others. Most fall into two categories―high grade (rapidly growing) or low grade (slow growing). Tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). And malignant tumors can be primary―meaning the tumor started in the brain, or metastatic―resulting from cancer that started somewhere else in the body.

Once a brain tumor is found via an imaging study, our neurosurgery specialists employ advanced diagnostic tools to identify the exact tumor type.

Learn more about related conditions:

Brain tumor treatment options

Treatment plans differ based on an individual's specific diagnosis, with various surgical techniques available―including minimally invasive approaches — to successfully remove tumors from the brain and the base of the skill. Our neurosurgeons work closely with our oncologists to ensure patients benefit from a collaborative team approach and the complete continuum of care. At Main Line Health, you will find world-class expertise in neurosurgical care, and the gold standard in medical and radiation oncology treatment.

Learn more about related diagnostic and treatment options:

The importance of a second opinion

Our neurosurgery experts are available to provide critically important second opinions if you or a loved one received an initial diagnosis or treatment recommendation elsewhere.


Radiation Therapy

Specialists at Main Line Health offer a variety of radiation therapies to help treat cancerous tumors while preserving healthy tissue.

Radiation Therapy

Specialists at Main Line Health offer a variety of radiation therapies to help treat cancerous tumors while preserving healthy tissue.



Chemotherapy is used to fight almost every type of cancer and is part of the comprehensive treatment plan created by our oncologists.

Cranial Surgery



The neurology team at Main Line Health treats and manages conditions such as migraines, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease and more.


Discover how Main Line Health neurosurgeons provide expert care, from routine to complex spinal and nervous system conditions for patients.