With research showing an increase in brain tumors over the years, being familiar with the signs and symptoms of a brain tumor is smart in helping you determine if there’s a need for concern.
Although brain tumors may seem to be more common with time, most of them are benign or noncancerous. Still, what are brain tumors and how are they caused?
What is a Brain Tumor?
A brain tumor is a growth or mass of abnormal cells in the brain. A brain tumor can be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign).
Brain Tumor Locations
Brain tumors can begin in the brain, known as primary brain tumors, but they can also begin in other locations of the body and then spread to the brain, then known as secondary or metastatic brain tumors.
For adults, primary brain tumors are much less common than secondary brain tumors.
Types of Brain Tumors
There are many types of primary brain tumors, including the following:
- Acoustic neuromas (schwannomas) – Benign tumors that develop on the nerves that control balance and hearing.
- Craniopharyngiomas – Rare tumors that can affect the pituitary gland and other structures near the brain as it grows.
- Germ cell tumors – May develop in childhood where the ovaries or testicles will form (but may affect other parts of the body).
- Gliomas – Begin in the brain or spinal cord.
- Medulloblastomas – Cancerous and most common in children.
- Meningiomas – Mostly noncancerous and arises from the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord.
- Pituitary adenomas – Develop in the pituitary gland at the base of the brain affecting the pituitary hormones.
What are the Causes of a Brain Tumor?
The causes of primary brain tumors begin with the mutations or changes of normal cells in their DNA, which has the instructions to tell a cell what to do.
The mutations tell the cells to grow and rapidly divide to continue living when healthy cells typically die.
As a result, a tumor is formed by the mass of abnormal cells.
Brain Tumor Symptoms & Signs
In the early stages of a brain tumor, there may not be any