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Baylor All Saints Medical Center at Fort Worth

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Skull Base Tumor Diagnosis 

Tumors of the skull base can occur within various anatomic sites, most commonly the sinonasal tract, nasopharynx, orbit, clivus, anterior cranial fossa, infratemporal fossa, parapharyneal space, temporal bone, sella turcica, cavernous sinus, middle cranial fossa, petrous apex, cerebellopontine angle, jugular foramen, craniocervical junction/foramen magnum, posterior cranial fossa and cranial nerves.

The most common types of skull base tumors are squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, non-squamous cell carcinoma, esthesioneuroblastoma, sarcomas, schwannoma, paraganglioma and fibro-osseous lesions.

If brain tumor symptoms are present, a patient will receive a neurological exam to check vision, hearing, balance, coordination and reflexes. Depending on those results, the patient will undergo one or more tests, including:

  • CT
  • MRI
  • Other brain scans, angiograms, X-rays of the head and skull, or biopsies.

A biopsy sample of the tumor may be obtained with a fine needle under precise image guidance, using CT or MRI. In some patients, a sample may be obtained through an endoscope introduced through the nose and sinuses. Occasionally, an open surgical procedure is required.

Once the tumor type is determined, the medical team of the Skull Base Center will tailor a specific treatment plan based on the unique health profile and needs of each patient.