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Biopsy and Surgical Resection

Biopsy and surgical resection are two types of surgery that remove part or all of a brain tumor.

About Biopsy and Surgical Resection

Biopsy and surgical resection are both surgeries to remove brain tumor tissue.

A biopsy removes a small sample of a brain tumor so that an expert called a pathologist can look at it under the microscope. By looking at tumor cells this way, the pathologist can identify the type of tumor.

Your child’s doctor may also send some of the tumor to a special laboratory for a closer look at its genes.

A biopsy is sometimes part of a larger procedure, called a surgical resection, where the neurosurgeon tries to remove all or most of the tumor.

Talking to Your Child About Surgery

Age-appropriate videos can help parents and caregivers talk with children about cancer. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation’s Imaginary Friend Society is a series of short, animated videos that talk about cancer-related topics in a kid-friendly way. In the following video, Ralph, the toughest part-hippo, part-mountain-goat, all-imaginary-friend, helps explain what surgery is.


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