Brain tumour: Should it be removed?


An Independent article on 26 October on the singer Russell Watson's brain tumour was of particular interest to me. It said that all benign tumours eventually become malignant, and that to have a normal lifespan, tumours have to be surgically removed. I was diagnosed in 2002 with an acoustic neuroma, and because of my age and the small size of my tumour, I was advised to have an annual MRI scan rather than surgery. Does my tumour have to be surgically removed for me to have the chance of a normal lifespan, or not?

Dr Fred Kavalier answers your health question:

The article about Russell Watson contained incorrect information about brain tumours. It is definitely not true that all benign tumours eventually become malignant. Benign (non-cancerous) tumours are essentially different from malignant (cancerous) tumours. The great majority of benign tumours will never become malignant. Acoustic neuromas are benign tumours and do not become cancerous. For more information, visit the British Acoustic Neuroma Association website: www.bana-uk.com.

Please mail your questions for Dr Fred to health@independent.co.uk. He regrets that he is unable to respond personally to questions.

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