What is a tumor?
A brain tumor is a collection or mass of abnormal cells in a patient’s brain. The skull that surrounds the brain is a very hard material. Any growth within such a limited space can cause problems. Brain tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). When benign or malignant tumors grow, they can increase the pressure inside your skull. This causes brain damage and can be life threatening.
Brain tumors are also classified as primary or secondary. A primary brain tumor develops in your brain. Many primary brain tumors are benign. Secondary brain tumors are also known as metastatic brain tumors. This tumor occurs when cancer cells reach the patient’s brain from another organ, such as the lungs or chest.
A benign (noncancerous) brain tumor is a mass of cells that grows relatively slowly in the brain. Noncancerous tumors remain in one place and do not spread. If the doctor can completely remove the benign tumor from the brain, it is not possible for it to grow back.
If the tumor is not completely removed, there is a risk of it growing back. In this case, the tumor should be controlled by scanning or treated with radiotherapy.
Types of benign brain tumors
There are different types of non-cancerous tumors that are divided according to the type of cells involved in the tumor:
Glioma – Glycemic tissue tumors that hold nerve cells and nerve fibers.
Meningioma – Membrane tumors that line the brain.
Craniopharyngiomas – Tumors that are located near the brain and are most commonly diagnosed in children, adolescents, and adults.
Pituitary adenomas – Tumors of the pituitary gland, which is a spinal surface gland below the surface of the brain.
Because benign brain tumors grow slowly and usually do not spread, they include grade 1 and grade 2 tumors. These tumors are not cancerous and can often be successfully treated, but they should still be taken seriously because they are life threatening.
Symptoms of benign tumors
The symptoms of benign tumors vary depending on where they are in the brain. Some slow-growing ones may have no symptoms at first.
Common symptoms include:
New and ongoing headaches
Persistent nausea, vomiting and drowsiness
Psychological or behavioral changes, such as changes in personality
Weakness or paralysis, vision problems or speech problems
Treatment of benign tumors
Treatment for a benign brain tumor depends on the type and location of the tumor.
Surgery is used to remove many benign brain tumors and often does not return after removal. But sometimes these tumors grow or turn into malignant (cancerous) tumors.
If it is not possible to completely clear the tumor, other therapies, such as radiation and chemotherapy, may be used to control the growth of the remaining abnormal cells.
Malignant brain tumor (brain cancer)
A malignant brain tumor is called the growth of a cancerous mass in the brain and is completely different from a benign brain tumor that is not cancerous and grows slowly.
The symptoms of a malignant brain tumor depend on the location of the tumor in the brain. Common symptoms of brain cancer include:
Headache (which is often more severe in the morning or when coughing.)
Feeling of frequent pain or vomiting
Memory problems or behavioral changes
Weakness, vision problems or speech problems that get worse over time
If a person sees symptoms of a brain tumor that do not go away, they should see a specialist. Although these symptoms may not be due to a tumor, it is best to be sure as soon as possible.
Malignant tumor types
There are different types of malignant brain tumors and they have different names depending on where they grow in the brain.
Malignant tumors are also divided into 1 to 4 according to their degree. The higher the grade of the tumor, the worse the tumor.
Grade 1 and 2 brain tumors are noncancerous (benign) tumors that tend to grow very slowly.
Grade 3 and 4 brain tumors are cancerous (malignant) tumors that grow faster and are very difficult to treat.
Treatment of malignant brain tumor
Treatment of a brain tumor aims to completely clear the part of the brain that is infected with the tumor and try not to return the tumor. The main treatments are:
Surgery: First a small part of the skull is removed. The tumor is then removed from the head and then the skull piece is fixed in place.
Radiation therapy: After surgery, ultraviolet rays from an external device are used to kill cancer cells.
Chemotherapy: After surgery, drugs are given to kill the cancer cells. Also, if the tumor is not removable, medication is used to relieve its symptoms.
Radiotherapy: If surgery is not possible, cancerous tumors are targeted with small radiographs and high levels of radiation.
Carotenoid implants (glial wafers): A new method of chemotherapy used to treat some high-grade tumors. In this method, the implant is inserted into the brain. It may also be used to relieve the symptoms of some medications.