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By Peggy Parks

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Keith Black at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. ”40 Enemy of the Brain “ Black was stunned when he reviewed Kelly’s MRI scans, declaring the tumor to be the largest clival chordoma that he had ever seen. He called it “a vast, hydra-headed monster,”41 referring to Hydra, a ferocious, manyheaded beast of Greek mythology that grew two new heads whenever one was chopped off. And even though the tumor was benign, it was indeed a formidable beast. Much of its ability to spread was due to a previous surgery, during which the doctor had cut through Kelly’s dura mater, the protective covering of the brain beneath the skull.

According to the American Brain Tumor Association, mass effect can damage the brain by compressing and displacing delicate brain tissue. Children who sustain this sort of brain damage are at risk for developing neurological problems such as learning disabilities. The Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation explains: “Unfortunately, survivors of childhood brain tumors frequently develop problems in the areas of intellectual ability, academic achievement, memory, and attention.  . ”45 The group adds that children may also develop impaired vision as a result of a brain tumor, as well as hearing deficiencies.

New York: Wellness Central-Hatchett Book Group, 2009. Primary Source Quotes Black is a neurosurgeon who is director of the Maxine Dunitz Neurosurgical Institute at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. “ The word ‘benign’ is misleading because it implies that the tumor presents no danger to the patient. In fact benign tumors of the central nervous system can cause very serious disability and even death. ” —Brain Science Foundation, “Frequently Asked Questions,” Primary Brain Tumors: An Information Clearinghouse, 2010.

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Brain Tumors by Peggy Parks


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