Brain Tumor Specialist

The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles

Brian R. Gantwerker, MD

Neurosurgeon located in Santa Monica, CA

If you’re diagnosed with a brain tumor, you should be able to count on the experience of your surgeon to guide your decisions and perform advanced procedures such as radiosurgery. Brian Gantwerker, MD, at The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles is a board-certified neurosurgeon with extensive experience removing brain tumors. You can also depend on his personal attention and compassionate care. To learn more about brain tumor treatment, call either the Santa Monica, California, office at (310) 694-8300 or email us at

Brain Tumor Q & A

What are the different types of brain tumors?

There are more than 150 types of brain tumors, so these are just a few of the most common ones:

  • Gliomas are the most prevalent type of brain tumor, representing 78% of malignant tumors
  • Meningiomas are usually benign and represent 10-15% of all brain tumors
  • Schwannomas are benign tumors that develop along nerves
  • Pituitary adenomas are typically benign and slow-growing


All types of brain tumors fall into one of two groups:

Primary brain tumors

Primary brain tumors may be malignant or benign. They arise from brain tissue or from nerves and blood vessels in your brain. Although primary tumors seldom spread to other areas of your body, some may invade the surrounding area and destroy brain tissue.

Metastatic brain tumors

This type of brain tumor is caused by cancer that originates elsewhere in your body then spreads to your brain. For example, more than 40% of people who have lung cancer also develop metastatic brain tumors.

What brain tumor symptoms might I develop?

Brain tumor symptoms depend on the location of the tumor, but patients often experience:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion
  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Personality changes
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Changes in vision or hearing
  • Changes in personality
  • Difficulty speaking or thinking


You may also develop weakness or paralysis on one side of your body or in one specific body area.

How do you treat brain tumors?

Your treatment depends on the type, size, and location of the tumor. Whenever appropriate, Dr. Gantwerker surgically removes tumors, but radiation may be needed after surgery or it can be used alone if surgery isn’t possible.

Dr. Gantwerker performs traditional brain surgery, which is called a craniotomy. During a craniotomy, he makes a surgical opening in the skull and uses a specialized microscope to view the tumor. His expertise as a neurosurgeon allows him to remove as much of the tumor as possible without damaging healthy brain tissue.

If you have headaches or other symptoms of a brain tumor, call The Craniospinal Center of Los Angeles or use the online booking feature to schedule an appointment.