Providence Medical Group – Southwest Washington Neurosurgery offers a level of expertise with the diagnosis and treatment of malignant and non-malignant brain tumors that rarely exists outside large metropolitan areas or academic medical centers. Each of our surgeons brings to the practice years of training and experience in all types of primary, metastatic and pituitary tumors, and knowledge of the latest, most advanced treatment modalities.
Tumors We Treat
- Primary brain tumors (gliomas, meningiomas)
- Brain metastases
- Pituitary tumors
All of our surgeons have extensive training and experience in the care of patients with brain tumors.
“Several of our surgeons were leaders in brain tumor surgery in their previous practices. Our experience and skill comes from large, urban practices where we saw some of the rarest cancers, used the most advanced treatment technologies and managed a significant volume of cancer cases.” – Sheila Smitherman, M.D.
The optimal treatment for many brain tumors is surgical removal of the tumor. Most benign tumors can be treated and cured with surgical resection. Some types of malignant or metastatic tumors require surgical resection followed by other therapies. Our surgeons perform highly technical surgical resection using the most upto-date intraoperative equipment available, which includes the Stealth neuro-navigation system for accurate localization of the tumor during surgery. Our physicians’ expertise also extends beyond surgery, as one of our surgeons was previously a director of a Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgery center. This expertise allows patients access to stereotactic radiosurgery as another option for brain tumor treatment.
“Gamma Knife delivers hundreds of beams of radiation from multiple directions and angles. Each beam alone is not strong enough to damage the healthy tissue it passes through on the way to the tumor. Where the beams meet, however, the combined radiation is sufficient to destroy the abnormal cells. This type of radiation therapy helps preserve healthy tissue and reduce side effects.” – Barbara Lazio, M.D.
Community-wide Tumor Board
Our practice has developed close relationships with medical and radiation oncologists in the community,
and works closely with Providence Regional Cancer Centers in Lacey, Centralia, Aberdeen, Shelton and
Yelm, as well as with other groups, including the Swedish Cancer Institute. Our tumor board, which comprises our neurosurgeons, and local medical and radiation oncologists, pathologists and oncology nurses, is charged with developing consensus for the best treatment options.
Every two weeks the tumor board meets to review cases, discuss viable treatment options and investigate the
availability of applicable clinical trials.