Brain Tumor

A brain tumor is defined as an abnormal growth of cells within the brain or the skull vault. Brain tumors include all tumors inside the cranium. They are created by an abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, usually in the brain itself, but also sometimes in lymphatic tissue, in blood vessels, in the cranial nerves, in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary gland, or pineal gland and from congenital vest cells.

Brain tumors are classified depending on:

  • The location of the tumor
  • The type of tissue involved
  • Whether they are noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant)
  • Other factors

Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms of brain tumor depend on tumor’s size, location, its spread, and whether there is swelling. The most common symptoms are:

  • Changes in person’s mental function
  • Headaches
  • Weakness in one part of the body
  • Seizures (especially in older adults)
  • Vision problems
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Lack of control over the bladder or bowels
  • Difficulty writing or reading
  • Clumsiness
  • Personality, mood, behavior, or emotional changes


The cause of primary brain tumors is still unknown. There are many possible risk factors including:

  • Radiation therapy to the brain, used to treat brain cancers, increases the risk for brain tumors up to 20 or 30 years afterwards
  • Some inherited conditions increase the risk of brain tumors, including ineurofibromatosis, Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Turcot syndrome
  • Lymphomas that begin in the brain in people with a weakened immune system are sometimes linked to the Epstein-Barr virus


When a brain tumor is diagnosed, a team is formed to assess the treatment options which is presented to the patient and his/her family. Given the location, stage, and type of the growth, these are the various types of treatment options that are either used in isolation or as a combination procedure.

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