The skull base is the area behind the eyes and nose that slopes down to the back of the head; it forms the base of the skull. The spinal cord, multiple nerves and the major blood vessels of the brain, head, and neck pass through openings in the skull base. The term "skull base tumor" refers to the location of the tumor. The type of cancer cell can be one of several; some are cancerous, some are non-cancerous. Even non-cancerous tumors can cause problems because they are growing in a confined space.
Skull base tumors may not produce symptoms until they are already large. If they do have signs, they vary for each patients depending on where the tumor is and how fast it is growing. Skull base tumor symptoms may include:
If you have symptoms that may signal a skull base tumor, your physician will examine you and ask you questions about your health and symptoms. In addition, your physician may request one or more of the following tests:
Treatments for skull base tumors and conditions may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy and/or observation. The treatment depends on many factors such as the location of the tumor or condition, the extent of the tumor and whether it is benign or malignant and your overall health and preferences regarding treatment options.