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Brain Tumor

Brain Tumour: Types, Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

by Shikha Thakur

Brain tumours are masses of abnormal cells that form in the brain. It affects both adults and children. Brain cancer can be either benign or malignant, primary or secondary. The rate at which a brain tumour grows can vary greatly. The location and size of a brain tumour determine how it will affect the function of your nervous system. Brain tumour treatment options depend on the type of brain tumour you have and its size and location. This can lead to brain damage, coma, and death.


1. Meningioma

Meningiomas are the most common primary brain tumours in humans. They develop in the meninges, the outer three layers of tissue that cover and protect the brain just under the skull. Women are diagnosed with meningiomas more often than men. They can be benign or malignant, but most are benign.

2.Pituitary Adenoma

Adenomas are the most common type of pituitary tumour, arising from the gland’s tissues. They grow slowly and tend to cause vision and endocrinological problems. Adenomas are benign (noncancerous) and can be treated with surgery or medication.


Craniopharyngiomas are benign tumours that grow near the pituitary gland. They usually appear as solid masses or cysts, and may press on nearby nerves, blood vessels or brain tissue. These tumours are most common in children and young adults over age 50. They can cause vision or endocrinological issues.


Vestibular schwannomas are slow-growing, benign tumours that grow on the nerve connecting the ear to the brain. They often cause hearing loss and affect people in middle age. Trigeminal schwannomas, much less common than vestibular schwannomas, can cause facial pain.

5.Nasopharyngeal Angiofibroma

Nasopharyngeal angiofibroma is a tumour that usually develops in adolescent boys. It is a benign skull base tumour in the nose and is most common in this area. The tumour spreads to surrounding areas, causing symptoms such as congestion and nosebleeds.

6.Choroid Plexus Tumour

Choroid plexus tumours are rare, malignant brain tumours that occur in the choroid plexus — a part of the brain within its ventricles that produces cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). About 90% of these tumours are benign, and they most frequently occur in children under 2 years old; however, this type of tumour can be found in adults as well. They can cause hydrocephalus as they grow, which results from an increase in CSF pressure and enlargement of the skull.

7.Dysembryoplastic Neuroepithelial Tumour

Dysembryoplastic neuroepithelial tumours are rare, benign tumours that occur in the tissues covering the brain and spinal cord. Typically found in children and teens, these tumours can cause seizures. Other neuronal-glial brain tumours include gangliogliomas and gangliocytomas.


Neurofibromas are benign tumours that can grow on any nerve in the body. These soft, fleshy growths may develop in the brain, on cranial nerves, or along the spinal cord. Neurofibromas are a symptom of a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis type 1.


The causes of brain cancer are not well understood. Possible causes include genetic mutations, gene deletions, and loss of cancer suppressor genes. Certain genetic disorders, such as neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, and Turner’s, may also increase the risk of developing brain cancer. Exposure to ionizing radiation is also associated with the development of brain tumours in both children and adults.

Genetics: Some inherited genetic disorders may increase the risk for developing certain types of brain cancer. Such genetic disorders include neurofibromatosis, Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, Turcot syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 1 and tuberous sclerosis.

Age: Brain tumours are more common in children under 5 years old than in adults over 45 years old. Most brain cancers occur in people between the ages of 20 and 40.Sex: More men than women develop brain tumours; however, women tend to have more aggressive forms of these cancers compared to men. This may be due to hormones or other factors related to pregnancy hormones (oestrogen).


Blurred vision
Balance problems
Personality or behavioural changes
Drowsiness or even coma

A tumour in or near the parts of the brain responsible for language can cause problems with speech or understanding words. This is in or near the front of the brain can sometimes affect thinking, personality, and language. If a cancer is present in the cerebellum (the lower, rear portion of the brain that controls coordination), a person might have trouble walking and trouble with precise movements of hands, arms, feet, and legs; problems swallowing; and changes in speech rhythm.

Diagnoses of Brain Tumour

1.Physical Examination: – During a physical examination, your Neuro doctor may feel areas of your body for lumps that could indicate cancer. He or she may also look for signs of abnormality in skin colour or swelling of an organ, which could indicate the presence of cancer.

2. Laboratory Tests: – Doctors can use laboratory tests, such as urine and blood tests, to identify abnormalities common in people with cancer. For example, in people with leukaemia, a common blood test called complete blood count may reveal an unusual number or type of white blood cells.

3. Imaging Tests: – Imaging tests are non-invasive tools that allow your doctor to examine your bones and internal organs. Imaging tests used in diagnosing cancer may include computerized tomography (CT) scans, bone scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) scans, ultrasounds and X-rays.

4.Biopsy: – When a doctor conducts a biopsy, he or she may take several samples of tissue and send them to a laboratory for testing. There are several ways of doing this. The right procedure depends on your type of cancer and its location. In most situations, a biopsy is the only way to diagnose cancer with certainty.


1.Surgery: This is the procedure to remove cancer as much as possible.
2.Chemotherapy : Chemotherapy is the use of powerful chemicals to kill fast-growing cells in the body. Cancer cells grow and multiply more quickly than most cells in the body, so chemotherapy is often used to treat cancer. Many different drugs are available for this purpose.
3.Bone marrow transplant :- A bone marrow transplant is a procedure in which blood-forming stem cells are infused into your body to replace bone marrow that’s not producing enough healthy blood cells. You might need a bone marrow transplant if your bone marrow stops working and does not produce enough healthy blood cells. Bone marrow transplants may use cells from your own body (autologous transplant) or from a donor.
4.Immunotherapy :- Immunotherapy is a type of cancer treatment that helps your immune system fight cancer. The immune system helps your body fight infections and other diseases. It is made up of white blood cells and organs and tissues of the lymph system. Biological therapy is a type of treatment that uses substances made from living organisms to treat cancer.

7.Cryoablation: – Cryoablation is a procedure where extreme cold is used to destroy cancer cells. A thin, Cryoprobe is inserted through the skin directly into the tumour. It is then filled with a fluid that converts to gas in order to cool the tissue. The tissue is allowed to thaw, and then removed from your body.

Brain tumors are a group of conditions in which an abnormal growth of cells form within the tissues of the brain. Brain tumors can be benign or cancerous, and they can occur at any age. The most common are:

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