Behind your nose and eyes is the skull base that slopes down to the back of your head. This area is the central hub of the spinal cord, major blood vessels, and nerves, so abnormal growth there can affect one’s well-being. You may be unfamiliar with the condition and what it entails. If so, here are four things you should know about skull base tumors.
What Are Skull Base Tumors?
A skull base tumor is an abnormal growth in the brain at the base of the skull. It’s important to know that most skull base tumors are benign and don’t spread to other body parts. However, this mass grows slowly and can cause serious damage if not treated promptly.
The Symptoms of Skull Base Tumors
The symptoms of skull base tumors vary from patient to patient. It always depends on the mass’s type, location, and size. When monitoring signs, it’s important to note that other symptoms may appear over time as the tumor grows. If the mass continues to grow, it may affect the sinuses, altering the sense of smell, taste, or breathing.
Common symptoms to watch out for include:
- Trouble swallowing
- Nose bleeding
- Memory loss
- Hearing loss
- Loss of balance
- Frequent headaches
- Difficulty breathing
- Double vision
- Modified sense of smell
There Are Different Types of Skull Base Tumors
Different skull base tumors are categorized by their unique structures and characteristics. Radiology and pathology tests will determine the type. The most common types of benign tumors are:
- Acoustic neuroma
The most common malignant skull base tumors are:
- Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
- Squamous cell carcinoma
Not All Skull Base Tumors Are Cancerous
Skull base tumors can be scary, but most of these masses are benign or non-cancerous. However, this doesn’t eliminate the chances of it being malignant. Often, these tumors are found by accident through an MRI or CAT scan. Whether you have a suspicion about growth or have received a diagnosis, getting it treated as soon as possible is important to avoid long-term problems.
Taking the time to get the right diagnosis and treatment from the very best professionals is the first step to recovery. We hope that our list of four things to know about skull base tumors helps kickstart your road to rehabilitation. At Allergy & ENT Associates, we have sinus specialists in Houston and other surrounding areas ready to help. Contact us today to request an appointment to take a deeper look at how this mass could affect your sinuses.