ANS Neurosurgeons Offer Tips During Brain Tumor Awareness Month

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May is brain tumor awareness month. ANS in Morristown discusses Next-Generation Treatments, Community Awareness and their program Partnership of Hope.


While many of the tumors of the nervous system can be cured by surgery alone, others require a more comprehensive treatment plan including chemotherapy and radiation in addition to surgery.

Brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer related deaths in children and young adults ages 15- 34. For over 50 years, Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists (ANS) has maintained their core value that the needs of their patients come first. This means constantly striving toward the application of leading-edge research to their clinical practice. Their neurosurgeons incorporate the most advanced surgical technology and neurosurgical techniques available for the treatment of brain tumors, back pain, stroke, brain aneurysms, spinal disorders, traumatic brain injury, and more. ANS is affiliated with New Jersey’s leading healthcare systems and with a number of offices throughout the region, their reputation has made them the largest private neurosurgical practice in the state of New Jersey. ANS’s expansion gives all New Jersey residents access to exceptional neurosurgical care with groundbreaking treatment options right around the corner.

Early detection is extremely important when dealing with brain tumors. “The most important thing you can do when it comes to brain tumor awareness is to educate yourself,” states Dr. Kyle Chapple, one of several ANS brain tumor specialists. Most believe that you only go to a neurosurgeon when surgery is needed, but it is also true that neurosurgeons are the most qualified specialists to diagnose any ailments or injuries related to the nervous system. For this reason, ANS has launched an awareness campaign to educate the community on the importance of choosing a neurosurgeon for an accurate diagnosis.

Recognizing the Symptoms

The symptoms that are associated with brain tumors are very general and could be misleading. If you think the symptoms you have are brain-tumor related, do not panic. Make an appointment with an ANS physician and we’ll help you move forward from there. The warning signs of a brain tumor depend on the size and location, but here are some common symptoms:

  •     Headaches: These types of headaches occur primarily in the morning and are severe in nature.
  •     Seizures: Seizures are a sign only to those that don’t normally suffer from them, but occur in 15-95% of patients suffering from a brain tumor
  •     Speech Disturbance: Difficulty in communicating with others including problems speaking, reading, writing and recognizing the names of objects.
  •     Vision Problems: Vision problems occur in 25% of patients. Eye care professionals can recognize signs of increased intracranial pressure.
  •     Behavioral and Cognitive Problems: You may experience problems with short-term memory, lack of concentration, and inability to find the right words.
  •     Nausea or Vomiting: Nausea and/or vomiting are symptoms that are more likely to point towards a brain tumor when accompanied with the other symptoms mentioned above.

Important Screening Information
MRI screening is the best method for detecting brain tumors, but most patients do not get their first MRI until they are already experiencing symptoms of a tumor. Scheduling an MRI as part of your yearly exam is the best way to detect a brain tumor early. Here are some things you should know about MRI screening:

  •     An MRI can detect a tumor when it is only the size of a pea.
  •     Brain scans are quick; usually lasting less than ten minutes.
  •     Brain scans are non-invasive, pain-free, and do not emit radiation.

Did You Know?
Brain tumors can be effectively treated. “While many of the tumors of the nervous system can be cured by surgery alone, others require a more comprehensive treatment plan including chemotherapy and radiation in addition to surgery,” states Dr. Kyle Chapple. “Recent innovations in all three of these treatment modalities have allowed even patients with the highest grade tumors to live longer with extended, symptom-free intervals.” Other things to know:

  •     Almost half of all brain tumors are not cancerous, are slow growing, and respond well to treatment.
  •     If a patient is diagnosed with a brain tumor, a treatment plan can be designed to fit their individual needs and lifestyle.

Support for Patients

In 2012, ANS started a support group for patients called Partnership of Hope. Employees of ANS volunteer their time to hold the support group once a month for patients and their loved ones suffering from brain tumors. You can share your stories or just sit back and listen to others tell theirs. In addition to dinner and open discussions, ANS provides a guest speaker at every meeting. The doctors mingle with the patients and there are plenty of interactive activities for everyone to enjoy. At one meeting, massages were available for anyone who wanted one. At another meeting, ANS brought in a makeup artist and a hypnotist. Volunteers also work outside of the meeting to accommodate the everyday needs of patients who are not able to care for themselves. Partnership of Hope offers patients transportation to doctor’s appointments, prepared meals, child care, additional counseling, grocery shopping, and more.

For more information about ANS and Partnership of Hope or to view a listing of all hospitals they are affiliated with in your area, visit or call 973.285.7800.

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Hayley Cuccolo
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