What Is Brain Tumor?
A brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain. Many different types of brain tumors exist.
Some brain tumors are noncancerous (benign), and some brain tumors are cancerous (malignant).
Brain tumors can begin in your brain (primary brain tumors), or cancer can begin in other parts of your body and spread to your brain as secondary (metastatic) brain tumors.
What Is Brain Tumor Surgery?
Symptoms of Brain Tumor:
- New onset or change in pattern of headaches
- Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting
- Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
- Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
- Difficulty with balance
- Speech difficulties
- Feeling very tired
- Confusion in everyday matters
- Difficulty making decisions
- Inability to follow simple commands
- Personality or behaviour changes
- Seizures, especially in someone who doesn’t have a history of seizures
- Hearing problems
Symptoms will depend on the size, type, and location of the growth or abnormality, and may include:
- Peripheral field vision loss
- Personality changes, confusion
- Stunted growth or delayed puberty in children
- Hyperphagia and weight gain
- Adrenal insufficiency
- Low blood pressure
Many different types of primary brain tumors exist. Each gets its name from the type of cells involved. Examples include:
- These tumors begin in the brain or spinal cord and include astrocytomas, ependymomas, glioblastomas, oligoastrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas.
- A meningioma is a tumor that arises from the membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord (meninges). Most meningiomas are noncancerous.
- Acoustic neuromas (schwannomas).These are benign tumors that develop on the nerves that control balance and hearing leading from your inner ear to your brain.
- Pituitary adenomas.These are tumors that develop in the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. These tumors can affect the pituitary hormones with effects throughout the body.
- These cancerous brain tumors are most common in children, though they can occur at any age. A medulloblastoma starts in the lower back part of the brain and tends to spread through the spinal fluid.
- Germ cell tumors.Germ cell tumors may develop during childhood where the testicles or ovaries will form. But sometimes germ cell tumors affect other parts of the body, such as the brain.
- These rare tumors start near the brain’s pituitary gland, which secretes hormones that control many body functions. As the craniopharyngioma slowly grows, it can affect the pituitary gland and other structures near the brain.
If it’s suspected that you have a brain tumor, your doctor may recommend a number of tests and procedures, including:
- A neurological exam.A neurological exam may include, among other things, checking your vision, hearing, balance, coordination, strength and reflexes. Difficulty in one or more areas may provide clues about the part of your brain that could be affected by a brain tumor.
- Imaging tests.Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is commonly used to help diagnose brain tumors. Sometimes a dye is injected through a vein in your arm during your MRI study.
- Collecting and testing a sample of abnormal tissue (biopsy).A biopsy can be performed as part of an operation to remove the brain tumor, or a biopsy can be performed using a needle.
Treatments for Brain Tumor:
Treatment for brain tumors depends on a number of factors including the type, location and size of the tumor as well as the patient’s age and general health. Treatment methods and schedules differ for children and adults.
Brain tumors are treated with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Our doctors also are studying a vaccine for treating a recurrent cancer of the central nervous system that occurs primarily in the brain, known as glioma.
Surgery is the usual treatment for most brain tumors. To remove a brain tumor, a neurosurgeon makes an opening in the skull. This operation is called a craniotomy. Whenever possible, the surgeon attempts to remove the entire tumor. If the tumor cannot be completely removed without damaging vital brain tissue, your doctor may remove as much of the tumor as possible.