A skull base tumor is a growth that occurs along the undersurface of the brain. These can originate from the brain itself, tissue around the brain known as the dura, the bone of the skull, or neighboring structures such as the eyes, sinuses, throat, or ears for example. The cause of most brain and skull base tumors is unknown, but is presumed to be due to genetic alterations of normal tissue at the site of origin. Although there are extremely rare genetic familial syndromes, the vast majority of genetic alterations are unknown, but our researchers and others are exploring these issues.
Many different tumors can occur at the skull base. Depending on the location, certain types of tumors are more likely to occur than others. Clues obtained from the patient history, examination, and radiologic imaging, can help predict the type of tumor present. Ultimately, a biopsy will confirm the diagnosis. Some tumors are benign, which means that although they may expand, they are not expected to invade into surrounding tissues or spread. Malignant tumors are those types of tumors which may invade into nearby tissues. Some cancer cells can move into the bloodstream or lymph nodes, where they can spread to other tissues within the body (this is called metastasis).
Sinus Tumors: American Cancer Society