Valerie Harper’s Rare Brain Cancer: What Caused It?

Actress Valerie Harper, who’s been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, has a rare type that often spreads from another form of cancer, such as breast, melanoma or, in Harper’s case, lung cancer – which she battled in 2009. Called leptomeningeal carcinomatosis, it affects about 5 percent of cancer patients and the first signs are “similar to stroke symptoms,” including trouble speaking, numbness of the face, double vision, or difficulty swallowing, says Keith L. Black, M.D., professor and chair of the …

The Sheryl Crow Effect: Learning About Benign Brain Tumors

She’s calling it just “a bump in the road,” but the news this week that singer Sheryl Crow has a benign brain tumor shocked her fans. It also made a lot of us wonder if, like Crow, those occasional memory lapses we suffer could indicate something more serious. Crow, a breast cancer survivor who recently turned 50, said she initially thought that  she was forgetting things — like the lyrics to her hit song, “Soak Up The Sun” — because …

Dental X-Rays: Do They Increase Brain Tumor Risk?

As if going to the dentist wasn’t painful enough, a new study from Yale suggests a link between frequent dental X-rays and a type of brain tumor. The study, published this week in the journal Cancer, shows that people who have had frequent dental X-rays are more likely to develop a common brain tumor called meningioma than those who have not, according to CNN.com. In particular, older patients, who have had higher-radiation X-rays in the past, may be at increased …