Benign Brain Tumors

Chordomas are benign, slow-growing tumors that are most prevalent in people between 50 to 60 years of age. They are most commonly located at the base of the skull and the lower part of the spine. While they may be benign, they can invade bone in adjacent areas and pressurise neural tissue. Chordomas are rare, making up only 0.2% of all primary brain tumors.

Treatment: These tumours most often require surgical resection which may be via an open approach or in some cases, an endonasal endoscopic approach.


Craniopharyngiomas are usually benign, but tend to be difficult to remove since they are located near critical structures which lie deep within the brain. Craniopharyngiomas commonly arise from a part of the pituitary gland which regulates hormones in the body. This results in most patients needing some form of hormone replacement therapy.

Treatment: These tumours most often require surgical resection which may be via an open approach or in some cases, an endonasal endoscopic approach.

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Gangliocytomas, anaplastic gangliomas and gangliomas are rare tumors that include neoplastic nerve cells that are relatively well-differentiated, occurring primarily in young adults.


Glomus jugulare tumors most frequently are benign and typically located just below the skull base, right at the top of the jugular vein. These are the most common form of glomus tumour which themselves make up just 0.6% percent of head and neck neoplasms.


Meningiomas are the most common benign intracranial tumors, making up 10 to 15% of all brain neoplasms. However, only a very small percentage are malignant. Meningiomas, as the name suggests, originate from the meninges which are membrane-like structures surrounding the brain and spinal cord.


Pineocytomas occur mostly in adults and are usually benign. They arise from pineal cells, are often well-defined and tend to be non-invasive, slow to grow and homogeneous.

For more information, click here to watch a video on Pineal region tumor – Microsurgical Excision


Pituitary adenomas are the most common intracranial tumors after gliomas, meningiomas and schwannomas. Most pituitary adenomas are benign and relatively slow-growing. Even when malignant, it is very unusual for pituitary tumors to spread elsewhere in the body. They are the most common disease to affect the pituitary by a long way affecting mostly people in their 30s or 40s, though they have been identified in children to.

Treatment: Most pituitary adenomas can be treated successfully through surgery using the endoscopic endonasal approach.

Read more about our Pituitary and Skull Base Tumour Programme here.


Schwannomas are benign brain tumors commonly found in adults. They comprise cells which normally provide ‘electrical insulation’ for the nerve cells and are therefore found along nerves. Schwannomas often simply displace the what is left of the normal nerve instead of invading it. Vestibular schwannomas (also called acoustic neuromas) are the most common schwannoma. They arise from the eighth cranial nerve (also known as the vestibulocochlear nerve) which travels from brain to ear. Although such tumours are benign, they are responsible for serious complications and even death if allowed to grow and exert pressure on nerves and (eventually) the brain. They are also found in the spine and, less often, along nerves going to limbs.

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