A brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain. In this article, we will discuss brain tumor symptoms and causes.
Many different types of brain tumors exist and every. Some brain tumors are cancerous, and some brain tumors are noncancerous. A brain tumor can start in your brain (primary brain tumor), or cancer can start in other parts of your body and spread to your brain as a secondary (metastatic) brain tumor.
How quickly a brain tumor grows can vary greatly. The growth rate, as well as the location of the brain tumor, determine 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. Every brain tumor has different symptoms and causes.
- Pituitary tumors
- Pediatric brain tumors
- Acoustic neuroma
- Brain metastases
- Choroid plexus carcinoma
- Embryonal tumors
Brain Tumor Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor vary greatly and depend on the location, growth rate and size rate of the brain tumor.
General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include:
- Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe
- Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
- New onset or change in pattern of headaches
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting
- Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
- Speech difficulties
- Confusion in everyday matters
- Difficulty with balance
- Feeling very tired
- Difficulty making decisions
- Personality or behavior changes
- Inability to follow simple commands
- Seizures, especially in someone who doesn’t have a history of seizures
- Hearing problems
Brain Tumor Causes
Brain tumors that begin in the brain
Primary brain tumors arise in or near the brain, such as the membranes covering the brain (meninges), cranial nerves, the pituitary gland, or the pineal gland.
Primary brain tumors begin when normal cells develop mutations in their DNA. A cell’s DNA contains instructions that tell a cell what to do. Mutations tell cells to grow and divide rapidly and to survive when healthy cells die. The result is a mass of abnormal cells, which form a tumor.
In adults, primary brain tumors are much less common than secondary brain tumors, in which cancer begins elsewhere and spreads to the brain.
Several different types of primary brain tumors exist.
- Meningiomas. This tumor arises from the membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord (meninges). Most meningiomas are non-cancerous.
- Gliomas. These tumors begin in the spinal cord or brain and include ependymomas, glioblastomas, astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas and oligoastrocytomas.
- Pituitary adenomas. These are tumors that develop in the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. These tumors can affect pituitary hormones with effects throughout the body.
- Acoustic neuromas (schwannomas). These are benign tumors that develop on the nerves that control balance and hearing from your inner ear to your brain.
- Germ cell tumors. Germ cell tumors can 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.
Cancer that begins elsewhere and spreads to the brain
Secondary (metastatic) brain tumors are tumors that result from cancer that started elsewhere in your body and then spread (metastasis) to your brain.
Secondary brain tumors mostly occur in people who have a history of cancer. Rarely, a metastatic brain tumor may be the first sign of cancer that has started elsewhere in your body.
In adults, secondary brain tumors are far more common than are primary brain tumors.
Any cancer can spread to the brain, but common types include:
- Colon cancer
- Lung cancer
- Breast cancer
In most people with a primary brain tumor, the cause of the tumor is unclear. But doctors have identified some factors that can increase your risk of brain tumours.
Risk factors include:
- Family history of brain tumors. A small proportion of brain tumors occur in people with a family history of brain tumors or a family history of genetic syndromes that increase the risk of brain tumors.
- Exposure to radiation. A small proportion of brain tumors occur in people with a family history of brain tumors or a family history of genetic syndromes that increase the risk of brain tumors.