Technology, teamwork help specialists treat brain tumors

Barry U professor's brain-tumor surgery successful thanks to technology, teamwork
Barry U professor's brain-tumor surgery successful thanks to technology, teamwork

WESTON, Fla. – More than 200,000 people in the U.S. are diagnosed with a brain tumor each year, and while the chances of most of them becoming malignant is rare, these tumors can still pose health threats.

“Sometimes they develop and people don’t even know they’re there,” said Dr. Ha I’d Borghei-Razavi, with the Department of Neurosurgery and Oncology with the Cleveland Clinic Weston.

But there are patients, like James Talerico, who only became aware he had a brain tumor when he started acting differently about a year ago.

“I just wasn’t right. I was making some decisions I shouldn’t have made and not realizing what I was doing,” Talerico said.

Those symptoms can include headaches, speech difficulties, imbalance or numbness, and even seizures.

“So that is the time they need attention urgently or need to be looking for treatment options,” Borghei-Razavi said.

The doctor and his team use newer technology to monitor what’s going on in the brain along with instruments to remove tumors that are less invasive.

“We use instruments that can keep the surrounding brain, or the functional brain, intact and keep the function of the brain intact compared to other techniques that were more aggressive for the brain,” Borghei-Razavi said.

Talerico was out of the hospital in a day and back to teaching in a matter of weeks.

“My recuperation was fantastic. I mean, I was walking, talking, doing everything I used to do,” he said.

The peak age for developing a brain tumor is around age 65 and women have double the risk compared to men, but beyond that, risk factors are unknown.

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