Treatment for complex tumors at the base of the skull
Published: May 11, 2012
Updated: May 11, 2012
Epidermoid cysts are slow-growing tumors in the brain that are commonly found at the bottom part of the head at the top of the spinal cord and in the hollow part of the skull bone that contains the pituitary gland.
Epidermoid cysts make up 1 percent of all tumors inside the head.
Epidermoid cysts are found equally in men and women. They typically do not affect people over the age of 40.
The symptoms of epidermoid cysts include general symptoms found with any tumor in the brain including headaches and dizziness.
Additional symptoms associated with these tumors include:
Cysts may rupture causing symptoms of meningitis including fever and neck stiffness or pain or hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain).
Symptoms of hydrocephalus include:
Doctors will interview the patient regarding symptoms and perform a physical examination if they suspect an epidermoid cyst is present.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain allows the physicians to get a clear view of the location of the cyst.
Epidermoid cysts can be removed during surgery. The details of this surgery should be discussed with your surgeon. The risks and benefits of surgery will be discussed in this meeting as well.