Brain Tumors Specialist

Joseph Watson, MD -  - Board Certified Neurosurgeon

Cerebrum MD

Joseph Watson, MD

Board Certified Neurosurgeon located in Tyson's Corner, Vienna, VA

When you’re diagnosed with a brain tumor, you need to know that your neurosurgeon has outstanding surgical skills and gives you the personal attention you deserve. That’s the level of care you receive from Joseph Watson, MD, at Cerebrum MD in Northern Virginia and Greater DC area. Dr. Watson is known for providing exceptional neurological treatment for brain tumors and also serves as the medical director of the Brain Tumor Center of MedStar Georgetown University Hospital. To schedule an appointment, call the office today.

Brain Tumors Q & A

What are the different types of brain tumors?

Brain tumors are classified as primary or metastatic. Primary tumors originate in the brain and seldom spread into the body. Metastatic brain tumors begin as cancer in another part of your body, such as lung cancer, and then spread to your brain.

Of the more than 150 types of brain tumors, these are the most common:

Benign (noncancerous) brain tumors

  • Meningioma - the most common type of brain tumor
  • Schwannoma - which affects protective nerve covering
  • Pituitary adenoma - the most common pituitary tumor

Malignant brain tumors

  • Gliomas - represent 78% of all malignant tumors
  • Ependymomas - represent 2-3% of all brain tumors
  • Glioblastoma multiforme - a fast-growing cancer that infiltrates the brain

Another type of brain tumor, called an acoustic neuroma, affects the nerve that carries sound and balance information from your ear to your brain.

What symptoms develop due to a brain tumor?

You experience different symptoms depending on the location of the tumor. As a group, however, brain tumors cause symptoms such as:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Personality changes
  • Vision or hearing changes
  • Difficulty speaking or thinking
  • Hard time swallowing

You may also develop weakness on one side of your body.

What causes a brain lesion?

A brain lesion is any abnormality that appears on a brain imaging test. You can develop a brain lesion due to a traumatic brain injury or stroke. Dr. Watson also frequently treats brain lesions caused by:

Arteriovenous malformation

Arteriovenous malformations develop when arteries and veins connect without going through the normal network of capillaries, creating a tangle of blood vessels that disrupts blood flow.

Brain aneurysm

An aneurysm occurs when a balloon-like area bulges out from a weak area in an artery wall.

Subdural hematoma

A subdural hematoma develops when trauma damages veins, allowing blood to build up between the brain and its outer lining.

Chiari malformation

Chiari malformations form when part of the brain extends into the spinal canal.

How are brain tumors treated?

Dr. Watson and the team at Cerebrum MD develop an individualized treatment plan based on the type of tumor or lesion, its size and location in your brain, and whether it’s localized or has spread to other areas of your brain. 

However, tumors are generally treated with open or minimally invasive surgery to remove the mass, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and/or stereotactic radiosurgery.

During surgery, Dr. Watson removes as much of the tumor as possible, but his overriding priority is to preserve your neurological function. In some cases, he may recommend leaving some of the tumor in place and performing radiation therapy after your surgery. 

If you need expert care for a brain tumor, call Cerebrum MD.