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.
How quickly a brain tumor grows can vary greatly. The growth rate as well as location of a brain tumor determines how it will affect the function of your nervous system.
Brain tumor treatment options depend on the type of brain tumor you have, as well as its size and location.
If it’s suspected that you have a brain tumor, your doctor may recommend a number of tests and procedures, including:
neurological exam may include, among other things, checking your vision, hearing, balance, coordination, strength and reflexes.
Magnetic resonance spectroscopy .
may help your doctor evaluate the tumor and plan treatment.
Sometimes other imaging tests are recommended, including computerized tomography (CT). Positron emission tomography (PET) may be used for brain imaging, but is generally not as useful for creating images of brain cancer as it is for other types of cancer.
Tests to find cancer in other parts of your body. If it’s suspected that your brain tumor may be a result of cancer that has spread from another area of your body, your doctor may recommend tests and procedures to determine where the cancer originated. One example might be a CT or PET scan to look for signs of lung cancer.
stereotactic needle biopsy may be done for brain tumors in hard to reach areas or very sensitive areas within your brain that might be damaged by a more extensive operation. Your neurosurgeon drills a small hole into your skull. A thin needle is then inserted through the hole. Tissue is removed using the needle, which is frequently guided by CT or MRI scanning.
The biopsy sample is then viewed under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous or benign. Sophisticated laboratory tests can give your doctor clues about your prognosis and your treatment options.
Treatment for a brain tumor depends on the type, size and location of the tumor, as well as your overall health and your preferences.
If the brain tumor is located in a place that makes it accessible for an operation, your surgeon will work to remove as much of the brain tumor as possible.
Even removing a portion of the brain tumor may help reduce your signs and symptoms.
Surgery to remove a brain tumor carries risks, such as infection and bleeding. Other risks may depend on the part of your brain where your tumor is located. For instance, surgery on a tumor near nerves that connect to your eyes may carry a risk of vision loss.
The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor vary greatly and depend on the brain tumor’s size, location and rate of growth.
General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include:
New onset or change in pattern of headaches
Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe
Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
Personality or behavior changes
Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
Difficulty with balance
Confusion in everyday matters
Seizures, especially in someone who doesn’t have a history of seizures
In most people with primary brain tumors, the cause of the tumor is not clear. But doctors have identified some factors that may increase your risk of a brain tumor.