Brain Tumor: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatments

What is a Brain Tumor?

A¬†tumor¬†could be a¬†mass of tissue that’s¬†shaped¬†by¬†an¬†accumulation of abnormal cells. Normally, the cells present in your body age, die and are replaced by new cells.

A brain tumor could be an assortment, or mass, of abnormal cells in your brain. Your skull, that encloses your brain, is incredibly rigid. Any growth within such a restricted area will cause issues.

Primary brain tumors emerge from the varied cells that structure the brain and central nervous system and are named for the type of cell during which they 1st form.

Many different varieties of brain tumors exist. Some brain tumors are noncancerous (benign), and a few brain tumors are cancerous (malignant).

Brain tumors will initially begin in your brain (primary brain tumors), or cancer can begin in different parts of your body and spread to your brain (secondary, or metastatic, brain tumors).

Brain tumor treatment¬†choices¬†rely upon¬†the type¬†of¬†brain tumor¬†you’ve got,¬†further¬†as its size¬†and placement.

Brain tumors are categorized as primary and secondary.

About primary brain tumors

Primary Brain Tumors | Brain Tumor: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatments |

Primary brain tumors are those tumors that begin within the brain. A primary brain tumor is delineated as low grade or high grade.

A low-grade tumor typically grows slowly, however it will be converted into the finest growth. A high tumor is a lot of seemingly to grow quickly.

A primary brain tumor originates in your brain. several primary brain tumors are benign.

In adults, secondary brain tumors conjointly referred to as brain metastases, are far more common than primary tumors.

About secondary brain tumors

A secondary brain tumor could be a cancerous tumor that started in another a part of the body, like the breast, lung, or colon, then spread to the brain.

A secondary brain tumor conjointly referred to as a metastatic tumor, happens once cancer cells unfold to your brain from another organ, like your lung or breast.

If cancer spreads to the meninges and therefore the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), it’s referred to as leptomeningeal metastases or neoplastic meningitis.

This condition happens a lot of usually in individuals with leukemia, lymphoma, melanoma, breast cancer, or lung cancer.

This section covers primary brain tumors and provides some info on brain metastases. To find out a lot of elaborate info regarding cancer that started elsewhere within the body and spread to the brain examines that specific type of cancer.

Types of Brain Tumors

There are many types of primary brain tumors. Some can not be assigned a particular type as a result of the tumor’s location makes it too tough to get rid of.


Gliomas are tumors that develop from glial cells. Gliomas are the foremost prevailing type of adult brain tumor, accounting for 78 % of malignant brain tumors. They arise from the supporting cells of the brain, known as the glia.

A guide to Brain Tumor:
The Neuroscientist Who Lost Her Mind: A Memoir of Madness and Recovery

Types of a brain tumor include:

  • Astrocytomas, together with astrocytoma, anaplastic astrocytoma, and glioblastoma
  • There are four grades of astrocytoma.
  1. Grade I or pilocytic astrocytoma may be a slow-growing tumor that’s most frequently benign and rarely spreads into near tissue. Astrocytoma in kids is a lot of common than astrocytoma in adults.
  2. Grade II or low-grade diffuse astrocytoma may be a slow-growing tumor which will typically spread into near tissue and may become a higher grade.
  3. Grade III astrocytoma: It’s typically known as a high-grade or an anaplastic astrocytoma.
  4. Grade IV astrocytoma: it’s going to be known as glioblastoma or malignant astrocytic brain tumor.
  • Ependymomas, together with anaplastic ependymoma, myxopapillary ependymoma, and subependymoma
  • Oligodendrogliomas, together with oligodendroglioma, anaplastic oligodendroglioma, and anaplastic oligoastrocytoma

Other primary brain tumors

Other primary brain tumors include:

  • pituitary tumors, that are sometimes benign
  • pineal gland tumors, which may be benign or malignant
  • ependymomas, that are sometimes benign
  • craniopharyngiomas, that occur largely in kids and are benign however will have clinical symptoms like changes in vision and premature time of life
  • primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphomas, that are malignant
  • primary germ cell tumors of the brain, which may be benign or malignant
  • meningiomas, that originate within the meninges
  • schwannomas, that originate in cells that turn out the protective cover of your nerves (myelin sheath) known as Schwann cells

Meningioma. meningioma is the most typical primary tumor. It begins within the meninges and is most frequently noncancerous.

Meningioma will cause serious symptoms if it grows and presses on the brain or neural structure or grows into the brain tissue.

Secondary brain tumors

Secondary brain tumors form up the bulk of brain cancers. they begin in one a part of the body and spread, or metastasize, to the brain. the subsequent will metastasize to the brain:

  • lung cancer
  • breast cancer
  • kidney cancer
  • skin cancer

Risk factor for a brain tumor

Risk Factors of Brain Tumor | Brain Tumor: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatments |

A risk factor is something that will increase a person’s probability of developing a brain tumor. Researchers are learning whether or not folks with sure risk factors are a lot of possible than others to develop a brain tumor.

A risk issue is some things which will increase the prospect of obtaining a disease.

Studies have found the subsequent risk factors for brain tumors:

Ionizing radiation: ionizing radiation from high dose x-rays (such as radiation from an oversized machine aimed at the head) and different sources will cause cell harm that ends up in a tumor. individuals exposed to ionizing radiation might have an enhanced risk of a brain tumor, like meningioma or glioma.

Family history: it’s rare for brain tumors to run in a very family. solely a very small amount of families have many members with brain tumors.

Most of the time, the cause of a brain tumor is unknown, however, the subsequent factors might raise a person’s risk of developing a brain tumor:

Age. The risk for many sorts of brain tumors will increase with age.

Gender. In general, men are a lot of possible than women to develop a tumor. However, some specific sorts of brain tumors, like meningioma, are a lot of common in women.

Exposure to infections, viruses, and allergens. Infection with the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) will increase the chance of CNS lymphoma. EBV is a lot of normally called the virus that causes mono or ‚Äúmono‚ÄĚ.

In a different analysis, high levels of a typical virus referred to as cytomegalovirus (CMV) are found in tumor tissue. The which means of this finding is being researched.

Many types of different viruses are shown to cause brain tumors in analysis on animals. a lot of information is required to seek out out if exposure to infections, different viruses, or allergens increase the chance of a brain tumor in individuals.

Of note, studies have shown that patients with a history of allergies or skin conditions have a lower risk of brain tumor.

Exposure to radiation. Those who are exposed to ionizing radiation have an enhanced risk of brain tumors.

You’ll be exposed to radiation through high-radiation cancer therapies. you’ll even be exposed to radiation from nuclear fallout.

The nuclear power plant incidents in Fukushima and city are samples of however folks may be exposed to radiation.

Race and ethnicity. Within the USA, white people are a lot of possibilities to develop gliomas however less likely to develop meningioma than black people.

Also, folks from northern Europe are quite double as possible to develop a brain tumor as people in Japan.

What are the Symptoms of a Brain Tumor?

Brain Tumor Symptoms | Brain Tumor: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatments |

Symptoms of brain tumors very consistent with the type of tumor and therefore the location. Some tumors cause direct damage by invading brain tissue and a few tumors cause pressure on the encircling brain.

A common symptom is caused due to the pressure of the tumor on the brain or spinal cord.

Specific symptoms are caused once a particular part of the brain isn’t operating well owing to the tumor.

For several folks with a brain tumor, they were diagnosed after they visited the doctor when experiencing a problem, like a headache or different changes.

Most Common Symptoms of brain tumor are:

  • New onset or modification in the pattern of headaches
  • Headaches that delicately become a lot of frequent and more severe
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting
  • Vision issues, like blurred vision, diplopia or loss of visual modality
  • A progressive loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Speech difficulties
  • Confusion in everyday matters
  • Personality or behavior changes
  • Seizures, particularly in somebody who doesn’t have a history of seizures
  • Hearing issues

Other Common Symptoms are:

  • difficulty swallowing
  • decreased alertness, which can embrace drowsiness and loss of consciousness
  • dizziness or vertigo
  • hand tremors
  • loss of bladder or bowel control
  • numbness or tingling on one facet of the body
  • problem with speaking or understanding what others are saying
  • changes in mood, temperament, emotions, and behavior
  • difficulty walking
  • muscle weakness within the face, arm, or leg

How Brain Tumors are Diagnosed?

Doctors use several tests to seek out, or diagnose, a brain tumor and learn the sort of brain tumor. Diagnosing of a brain tumor begins with a physical test and a look at your case history.

Diagnostic tools that are used are included with computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

To diagnose a brain tumor, the doctor starts by asking questions on your symptoms and taking a private and family health history.

Your doctor can look within your eyes with an ophthalmoscope, that is an instrument that shines a light through your pupils and onto your retinas.

This enables your doctor to check however your pupils react to light. It additionally permits your doctor to seem directly into your eyes to examine if there’s any swelling of the cranial nerve.

Once pressure will increase within the os, changes within the optic nerve will occur.

For most forms of tumors, taking a sample of the potential tumor is that the solely positive manner for the doctor to grasp if a part of the body includes a tumor.

This could be worn out a procedure known as a biopsy or by removing half of all of the growth with surgery. in an exceeding biopsy, the doctor takes a tiny low sample of tissue for testing in an exceedingly laboratory.

If this can be not possible, the doctor might recommend alternative tests which will help make a diagnosing.

Your doctor might think about these factors once choosing a diagnostic test:

  • The type of tumor suspected
  • Your signs and symptoms
  • Your age and general health
  • The results of earlier medical tests

Your doctor might order a lot of tests once they end the physical test. These may include:


MRI is used to measure the tumor’s size. An MRI is completely different from a CT scan as a result of it doesn’t use radiation, and it typically provides rather more careful photos of the structures of the brain itself.

A large machine with a robust magnet joined to a laptop is employed to create careful photos of areas within your head.

Typically a special dye (contrast material) is injected into a vas in your arm or hand to assist show variations within the tissues of the brain.

The photographs will show abnormal areas, like a tumor.

CT Scan

A CT scan takes photos of the within of the body using x-rays taken from completely different angles. an apparatus joined to a laptop takes a series of elaborated photos of your head.

A CT scan will help find bleeding and enlargement of the fluid-filled areas within the brain, known as ventricles.


Dye injected into the bloodstream makes blood vessels within the brain show informed an x-ray. If a tumor is present, the x-ray might show the tumor or blood vessels that are feeding into the tumor.


A small piece of the tumor is obtained throughout a biopsy. The removal of tissue to seem for tumor cells is named a biopsy. The biopsy can establish if the tumor cells are benign or malignant.

A specialist appearance at the cells underneath a magnifier to envision for abnormal cells. A biopsy is that the solely positive way to diagnose a brain tumor, learn what grade it’s, and arrange treatment.

Spinal Tap

A spinal tap may be a procedure within which a needle is employed to require a sample of spinal fluid (CSF) to seem for tumor cells, blood, or tumor markers.

Your doctor might take away a sample of spinal fluid (the fluid that fills the areas in and around the brain and spinal cord). This procedure is performed with anesthesia.

The doctor uses an extended, skinny needle to get rid of fluid from the lower a part of the spinal column. A spinal tap takes about 30 minutes.

What are the Causes of Brain Tumor?

Tumors are caused by cells that don’t perform as they must and grow sooner or survive for extended than normal cells, typically trespassing on those healthy cells.

It is not acknowledged why brain tumors develop.

Brain tumors that begin within the brain

The main origin of primary brain tumors is within the brain itself or in tissues near to it, like within the brain-covering membranes (meninges), cranial nerves, pituitary gland or pineal gland.

In adults, primary brain tumors are a lot of less common than are secondary brain tumors, during which cancer begins elsewhere and spreads to the brain.

Many Types of brain tumor exists, they are:

  • Gliomas
  • Craniopharyngiomas
  • Medulloblastomas
  • Acoustic neuromas (schwannomas)
  • Pituitary adenomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Germ cell tumors

Treatments of Brain Tumor

Brain Tumor Treatment | Brain Tumor: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatments |

Surgery to get rid of the tumor is usually the primary choice once a brain tumor has been diagnosed.

In brain tumor care, differing types of doctors usually work along to form a patient’s overall treatment arrange that mixes different types of treatment.

It is necessary to own a care team that makes a specialty of caring for individuals with a brain tumor, which can mean talking with medical professionals on the far side your local area to assist with identification and treatment coming up with.

The choice of treatment depends primarily on the following:

  • the type of tumor
  • the size of the tumor
  • the location of the tumor
  • your general health

In some cases, tumors are tiny and simple to separate from close brain tissue, that makes complete surgical removal possible.

In alternative cases, tumors can’t be separated from close tissue or they’re set close to sensitive areas in your brain, creating surgery risky.

In these things, your doctor removes the maximum amount of the tumor as is safe.

Successfully treating brain tumors is difficult. The body’s barrier usually protects the brain and spinal cord from harmful chemicals.

However, this barrier additionally keeps out many varieties of chemotherapy. Surgery is tough if the tumor is close to a delicate a part of the brain or spinal cord.

Even once the doc will utterly take away the first tumor, components of the tumor might stay that are too little to be seen or removed throughout the surgery. Radiation therapy can even harm healthy tissue.

Different Types of Treatments:

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Symptomatic Treatment

Useful Links:
What is Pancreatic Cancer: Types, Symptoms, Causes, and Prevention
What is Rectal Cancer: Symptoms, Causes and Survival Rates

Courtesy Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Kushal Parekh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *