Brain Cancer

If you have a neurological cancer (cancer in the brain or spinal cord), we offer some of the most advanced diagnostic and treatment innovations in the Pacific Northwest. Here you’ll receive care from cancer experts, who have years of experience in fighting—and beating—brain cancer. Our specialists are fellowship trained and experienced in brain tumors and skull-based surgery, brain and pituitary tumors, cervical spine (neck), bringing a breadth of experience from several of the top cancer centers in the country including Memorial Sloan Kettering Hospital, and Cleveland Clinic, among others.

We also have specialists who provide care for head and neck cancer, which is treated differently than brain and spinal cord cancer. Learn more about head and neck cancer experts.

Brain cancer diagnosis

No screening tests exist that detect cancer in the brain or spinal cord. If your doctor suspects cancer in your brain or spinal cord, you’ll need a complete physical exam and medical history. Our oncologists diagnose brain and spinal cord cancer through one or more tests, including:

  • Diagnostic imaging, including CT and MRI scans and X-rays
  • Spinal tap (lumbar puncture) to assess cerebrospinal fluid, which surrounds the brain and spinal cord
  • Tumor biopsy to determine the type of tumor

Brain cancer treatment options

Our cancer specialists take a multidisciplinary team approach to treating brain cancer. Experts from several specialties will work together to design a personalized treatment plan specifically for your individual case, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Medical oncology, including chemotherapy
  • Medications, including corticosteroids, anti-seizure drugs and hormone therapy
  • Surgical oncology using minimally invasive procedures including robotic-assisted
  • Radiation therapy
  • Gamma Knife treatment, a type of targeted radiation treatment that’s performed without surgery
  • Targeted therapies, such as antibodies that target specific molecules within cancer cells

Because we’re part of CHI, one of the largest health care providers in the country, you’ll have access to the latest research and innovations through the CHI Institute for Research and Innovation as well as national clinical trials as part of our participation in the National Cancer Institute Community Oncology Research Program (NCORP).

Ask your doctor about clinical trials.

Care without the commute

You can receive treatment for brain cancer at our premier treatment center conveniently located in the Puget Sound area at St. Joseph Medical Center.

Find a specialist

Your first visit is with a board-certified medical oncologist or surgical oncologist, who will discuss the next steps with you. Find a surgeon or medical oncologist.