What is a skull base tumor?

Skull base tumors are tumors that form on the skull.

They may be one of several different types, including:

  • Acoustic neuroma (vestibular schwannoma)
  • Chondroma
  • Chondrosarcoma
  • Chordoma
  • Meningioma
  • Osteoma
  • Petrous apex lesions


The symptoms of skull base tumors depend on their type, size and locatio.

Some skull base tumors cause no symptoms at all, while others may cause symptoms that include:

  • Headaches
  • Breathing challenges
  • Changing sense of smell
  • Vision problems
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hearing changes


Treating skull base tumors is challenging because of their location near critical nerves and blood vessels in the brain, head, neck and spinal cord. 

Treatment will depend on several factors:

  • Location of the tumor
  • Whether the tumor is malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous)
  • Your overall health

Treatment options may include:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation
  • Chemotherapy
  • Observation

If the tumor is benign, surgery may be the only treatment that is needed.

Many skull base tumors can be removed with minimally invasive endonasal endoscopic surgery.


View All Doctors