What is a brain tumour?

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of brain cells. The anatomy is complex and includes many parts that are responsible for different functions of the nervous system. Brain tumors can form in any part of the skull or brain, including the protective lining, the skull base , the brainstem, sinuses, and other areas. The brain can be home to more than 120 types of tumors, depending on the tissue from which they are derived.

Are brain tumors dangerous and how common are they?

About 30 people in the United States are affected by brain and nervous system cancers. Brain tumors can cause damage to the brain and spread to healthy areas. Brain tumors may also become cancerous. If they block fluid flow around the brain, it can cause damage and increase pressure within the skull. Certain types of tumors may spread through the spinal fluid and reach distant parts of the brain or spine.

What is the difference between a brain tumor and a tumor?

A brain tumor refers to a particular type of brain lesion. Any area of tissue that is damaged is a lesion. Although all tumors are called lesions, not all lesions can be considered tumors. Other causes of brain lesions include stroke or injury. encephalitis can also be caused. arteriovenous malformation is another possibility.

Brain Tumor vs. Brain Tumor vs.

Brain tumors can be considered all cancers. However, not all brain tumors can be classified as cancerous. Benign brain tumors are those that are not cancerous.

Benign brain tumors grow slowly and have defined borders. They rarely spread. Even benign tumors are not always dangerous. They can cause severe dysfunction by causing damage to and compression of brain areas. A benign brain tumor located in a vital part of the brain could be fatal. A benign tumor may become malignant very rarely. Meningioma and Vestibular Schwannoma are examples of benign tumors.

Malignant brain tumors can be deadly. They can grow quickly and infiltrate healthy brain structures. The changes that brain cancer causes to vital brain structures can prove fatal. Olfactory Neuroblastoma and Chondrosarcoma are some examples of malignant tumors found in the brain.

Primary vs. metastatic brain tumors

Primary brain tumors are those that originate in the brain. Meningioma, glioma, and other brain tumors are two examples. Rarely, these tumors may spread to other parts and the spinal cord. More often, tumors spread from other parts to the brain.

Metastatic brain tumours are malignant tumors that start as cancer elsewhere and then spread to the brain. About four times as common are metastatic brain tumors than primary brain cancers. They can quickly grow, invading and crowding out nearby brain tissue.

The following are common cancers that can spread to your brain:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Colon Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Skin cancer (melanoma).

Brain Tumor Locations

Although brain tumors can occur in any area of the brain there are specific areas where they may form:

  • Meningiomas are found in the meninges (the protective lining of your brain).
  • Pituitary tumours can develop in the pituitary.
  • Medulloblastoma Tumors are caused by the cerebellum and brainstem.
  • Skullbase tumors develop on the skull base, the lower side of the brain.

Another way to describe brain tumors is by what kind of cells they are made. Gliomas, for example, are made up of glial cells.

Brain Tumors in Children

Brain tumors are the most common type of solid tumor among children and adolescents. They affect approximately 5,000 children each year in the United States. There are many types of brain cancers that can affect children. These include astrocytomas (e.g. glioblastoma multe), gliomas as well as ependymomas, medulloblastomas and gliomas.

Brain Tumor Symptoms

Because different parts of the brain control different functions and symptoms, brain tumor symptoms can vary depending on where the tumor is located. A brain tumor found in the cerebellum, at the back of your head, may affect movement, balance, coordination, and walking. Vision problems may develop if the tumor is located in the optic pathway.

A person’s experience with symptoms will depend on the size of the tumor and its growth rate.

The most common signs of a brain tumour are:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Difficulty in thinking, speaking, or finding the right words
  • Changes in personality or behavior
  • Paralysis, weakness, or numbness in one or both sides of the body
  • Balance, dizziness, or unsteadiness:
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision is changing
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Memory loss

 

Is it possible to have a brain tumour without any symptoms?

Brain tumors do not always present with symptoms. Meningioma is the most common brain cancer in adults. It grows slowly and often goes unnoticed. Sometimes, symptoms may not appear until the tumors become too large to cause damage to healthy brain tissues.

Risk Factors and Brain Tumor Causes

Doctors aren’t able to explain why certain cells become tumor cells. It could be due to a person’s genes, his or her environment, and/or both. These are some possible brain tumor risk factors and causes.

  • Spreading cancers from other parts the body
  • Some genetic conditions can lead to an overproduction of some cells.
  • Radiation exposure to certain forms

Is brain cancer hereditary?

A small percentage (less than 5%) brain tumors can be attributed to genetics. Certain inherited conditions increase the risk of developing brain tumors.

    • Neurofibromatosis
    • Von Hippel Lindau Disease
    • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
    • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis
    • Lynch syndrome
    • Basal cell-nevus syndrome (Gorlin Syndrome)
    • Tuberous sclerosis
    • Cowden syndrome

Brain Tumor Risk Factors and Causes

Doctors aren’t able to explain why certain cells become tumor cells. It could be due to a person’s genes, his or her environment, and/or both. These are some possible brain tumor risk factors and causes.

      • Spreading cancers from other parts the body
      • Some genetic conditions can lead to an overproduction of some cells.
      • Radiation exposure to certain forms

Is brain cancer hereditary?

A small percentage (less than 5%) brain tumors can be attributed to genetics. Certain inherited conditions increase the risk of developing brain tumors.

    • Neurofibromatosis
    • Von Hippel Lindau Disease
    • Li-Fraumeni syndrome
    • Familial Adenomatous Polyposis
    • Lynch syndrome
    • Basal cell-nevus syndrome (Gorlin Syndrome)
    • Tuberous sclerosis
    • Cowden syndrome

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