Ever have a brain tumor in your family? How was it?

My FIL has a brain tumor the size of a goose egg. He doesn’t know yet (long story about using my wife’s medical coverage and her getting the MRI’s). I have to go tell him tomorrow morning and bring him back to Prague.

He was acting like he had a mini-stroke (partial paralysis like dragging his foot), but this is obviously the problem. The Doctor said that is looked uniform, so she thinks it is not cancer.

Do people get better after the surgery normally?

More news when I know.


I have a friend who had a brain tumor three or four years ago–he keeled over in his office one day and that was the first they knew of it. They operated and got it out, and these days he’s fine. I have no idea what kind of medications (if any) he’s on now, but I do know that as far as I can tell, he’s shown no change in his behavior, intellect, or abilities.

So yes, people do get better.

My former sister-in-law had a brain tumor that went undetected until she very suddenly went deaf in one ear. I mean like turning a switch “off” sudden. She could hear, then she couldn’t.

The tumor was located right behind her ear and was successfully removed by surgery. She’s suffered no consequences other than being deaf in that one ear.

Tomcat, I’m sorry, best wishes for his recovery.

Brain tumours, whether benign or malignant are never good.

They come in a myriad of different types and can present with almost any symptom you can think of.

Brain surgery is not fun, and for every miracle cure there will be a scare story. In this case, more than any other, it is not helpful to compare with other people, because so much can depend on EXACTLY where the tumour is and EXACTLY what it’s made of. A millimeter here or there can make a big difference when you’re talking about the brain.

Listen to your FIL’s doctors, they’ll know what the story is, and should be able to answer your questions much more accurately, given their knowledge of his specific condition.

Most people with benign tumours, assuming the surgery goes well, usually go on to live long lives. Some of them will never fully recover (your FIL may have some permanent paralysis for example), some will. It’s too hard to say.

My prayers are with your family for everything to go well.

Someone I know is going through this right now, but unfortunately for her it is cancer, and it is inoperable. It really depends on a lot of things, like where the tumor is, how big it is and how long it has been there, etc. She started out with similar symptoms, partial paralysis in her face. They originally diagnosed her with Bell’s Palsy and then a nerve disease. It took them a while to figure out is was a tumor, I think because of the location of it.

If surgery is possible and they are able to get the whole tumor out you do have a chance for full recovery. It is a good sign for your father that they feel it is operable and that it does not look like cancer. Sometimes after removing the tumor you will see immediate relief of symptoms, sometimes not. Of course his Dr.'s will be able to tell you what his situation is, but sometimes they don’t even know exactly what they are dealing with until they actually get in there. He may need follow up treatments after the surgery.

Good luck to you and your father in this difficult time. I hope you have a good Dr. who is able to explain it all for you and all the possibilities. Make sure you understand what is happening and don’t be afraid to keep asking questions until you do.

Unclviny, who is on hiatus from the boards right now, has one. It is benign and not growing so he hasn’t done anything about it for a number of years.

My mother had a benign but potentially growing tumor about 2 years ago. It was killed will some type of minimally invasive surgery that I can’t recall the name of. She fine, according to periodic checks since then. It didn’t really cause any symptoms other than an unexplained headache.

After a bit of searching I found some information about the type of surgery my mom had:


She fine. I not type so fine.

A similar thing happened to a friend of mine many, many years ago. She is absolutely fine except for being deaf in one ear.

My Mother-in-law had a Brain tumor that was wrapped around her optic nerve. ALthough it was a benign type, it was putting pressure on the nerve and was found after she had an eye checkup which showed loss of vision. She had it surgically removed and then was re-hospitalized when she started leaking CSF out her nose. This was treated non-surgically. It is now over a year later and she is find except for still some visual loss in the eye.

The important thing is to go to a doctor and then try to get several opinions on treatment types. My MIL was seen by a surgeon, oncologist and radiation oncologist before she made the decision for surgery.

My uncle had a very large tumor on his pituitary gland and it was removed about 30 years ago. He is still alive, but what happened was it caused his hands, feet and facial features to grow permanently. I believe he has to be treated by an endocrinologist to this day, but I know no details.

This isn’t going to be very helpful, but my father had one, and did not survive the operation to remove it. No condolences, please, I hadn’t seen him in 25 years by choice.

My best wishes to you and your family in hope that your FIL’s operation goes the completely other way.

My grandmother was diagnosed with one back in the mid-80s, when I was about 14 or so. Within six months, she mentally regressed to an effective mental age of about ten, before she died… it was the saddest thing I’ve ever seen.

I hope your father-in-law turns okay.

Thanks all.

I’ll know more after tomorrow. I do know that the Gamma knife was mentioned as an option.

FIL is at my SIL’s place now and we are going to be taking care of him jointly for the next week or two.

He’s a tough bugger…I’d lay my bets that he comes out of this OK.