When a patient is diagnosed with a brain or spinal tumor, the neurosurgeons at the Brain Surgery and Comprehensive Spine Center at Valley View work with other staff members of a cancer patient’s medical team to create a comprehensive, coordinated, multidisciplinary approach to provide optimal treatment for each patient’s particular case.
Brain and spinal tumors are masses of abnormal cells within the brain, spinal cord or spinal column, that have acquired unrestricted growth capability. Tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). Malignant tumors can spread throughout the body; benign tumors generally remain localized to their point of origin. Both categories of tumors can cause severe neurological disability, or even death, if not effectively treated. Brain tumors rarely spread to other parts of the body, but some systemic cancers have a predilection to travel to the brain, or spine, often complicating an already serious problem.
Surgery is often the most effective first line of attack for treating brain tumors. Our physicians work to remove tumors to the maximum extent possible using advanced equipment such as intraoperative MRI scanners and image-guided systems for precise surgical navigation.
Dr. David Miller completed his neurosurgical training, including a research fellowship in the molecular biology of brain tumor formation at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, where he later served as Associate Staff Neurosurgical Oncologist. He completed additional training in stereotactic radiosurgery in Stockholm, Sweden, and employs those skills as an integral member of the Calaway-Young Cancer Center radiosurgery team.
Stereotactic radiosurgery is sometimes used to treat both malignant as well as benign brain and spinal tumors. This non-invasive treatment delivers high doses of precisely targeted radiation to destroy tumors or lesions. Such a finely-tuned approach minimizes radiation exposure to healthy tissue surrounding the tumor.
“It was worth the drive from Steamboat Springs to come to the clinic and consult with Dr. Miller. The clinic atmosphere is friendly, positive and upbeat. I definitely got the feeling that everyone takes pride in their work and cares for the patients that come through there.”
Information & Resources
American Brain Tumor Association – A variety of information including tumor and treatment information, care and support resources, and progress in research on brain tumors.
Anatomy of the Brain – A detailed description of brain anatomy and function from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).
Chiari Malformations – From the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS).
Head & Brain Malformations – From the National Library of Medicine.