Types of Brain Tumor: Risk Factors, Signs and Symptoms
A brain tumor is generally described as the uncontrolled and progressive growth of abnormal cell mass in the brain. Atypical growth of cells (tumors) can cause an increase in pressure inside the skull. This can be life-threatening and damage the brain.
Many different types of brain tumors exist among which some are cancerous (malignant) while others are non-cancerous (benign). Malignant brain tumor generally starts in other body parts like the lungs or breasts and then spread to the brain.
Different types of brain tumors
Primary brain tumor
These tumors develop in the brain and can grow from the brain cells, nerve cells, glands, and meninges (the membrane surrounding the brain). Primary tumors can be benign or malignant.
Gliomas and meningiomas are the most common types of brain tumors that occur in adults.
Gliomas is the brain tumor that generally occurs in the brain and spinal cord. They start to affect the glial cells that surround the nerve cells. These glial cells are supportive as these cells normally:
- Support the structure of the CNS (central nervous system)
- Clean the cellular waste
- Provide nutrition to the CNS
- Break down dead neurons
Various other types of tumors that develop from the glial cells are as follows:
- Astrocytomas (astrocytic tumors) originate in the cerebrum.
- An oligodendroglial tumor is generally found in the frontal temporal lobes.
- Glioblastomas, the most aggressive type of brain tumor occur in the supportive brain tissues.
Other primary brain tumors are as follows:
- Pituitary tumors which are generally benign
- Pineal gland tumors which can be benign or malignant
- Craniopharyngiomas which mostly occur in children and cause premature puberty and change in vision
- Primary CNS lymphomas
- Primary germ cell tumors
Secondary brain tumors
Secondary brain tumors originate in one part of the body and spread rapidly to other parts of the body or metastasize to the brain.
Risk factors of brain tumor
- Family history: It is rare for a brain tumor to be genetically inherited, so this is not a major risk factor.
- Age: It is often seen that the risk factor of getting a brain tumor increases with age.
- Race: People of Africa and America are more prone to meningiomas while brain tumors are most commonly seen in Caucasians.
- Radiation: Frequent exposure to ionizing radiation has an increased risk of getting brain tumors.
- Chemical exposure: Getting exposed to certain harmful chemicals may also increase the chances of getting a brain tumor.
Signs and symptoms of brain tumor
The signs and symptoms of brain tumors depend on the size, location, and type of brain tumor. Headache is one of the most common types of symptoms. There may be a new onset or change in the pattern of the headache that is, it may be worse in the morning or can occur while you sleep.
Various other symptoms are as follows;
- Unexplained vomiting or nausea
- Double vision
- Difficulty in speech
- Loss of sensation in limbs
- Difficulty in balancing and walking
- Behavior changes or changes in personality
- Loss of memory
- Confusion in daily chores
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Loss of bladder or bowel control
- Drooping eyelids
Diagnosis of brain tumor
Diagnosis of a brain tumor generally begins with a physical examination and detailed evaluation of the patient’s medical history. Doctors at YASHODA HOSPITAL AND RESEARCH CENTRE, NEHRU NAGAR, GHAZIABAD also conduct a neurological examination to see if the cranial nerves that originate in the brain are intact.
Various other tests which can help in diagnosing the brain tumor are as follows:
- CT Scan of the head can help get a more detailed body scan.
- MRI of the head can be used to get a detailed picture and structure of the brain. 3T intraoperative MRI (iMRI) is one of the latest and most advanced technologies used in brain tumor surgical procedures. IMRI helps doctors to perform neurosurgeries more accurately and safely.
- The X-ray can be used to detect the breaks or fractures in the bone of the skull caused by a brain tumor.
- A neuropathologist can also conduct a biopsy by observing a small piece of tumor to identify whether the tumor cells are benign or malignant.
Treatment of brain tumor
The treatment of brain tumors depends upon the type, size, and location of the tumor. Surgery is considered to be the most common type of treatment in case of a brain tumor. This is done by removing the tumor cells without causing any damage to the healthy part of the brain. Sometimes, surgery is combined with other types of treatment like chemotherapy or radiation therapy to treat the disease. Other therapies like speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy can help the patient recover post-surgery.
The treatment of brain tumors will depend on the size, type, location, and overall health of the patient. An early diagnosis and treatment of the disease can help to prevent various complications that can occur when the tumor grows and starts exerting pressure on the skull and brain tissues. If you are worried about any symptoms you’re experiencing, you can consult the best neurosurgeons and doctors at YASHODA HOSPITAL AND RESEARCH CENTRE, NEHRU NAGAR, GHAZIABAD. They can help you in diagnosing and providing the right kind of treatment plan to cure the disease.
Dr. (Brig.) Yadvendra Singh Sirohi is a distinguished neurologist with 24+ years of experience and serves as Senior Consultant in Neurology at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad. Dr. Sirohi demonstrates exceptional empathy and compassion in addressing various neurological conditions with dedication and expertise.
Dr. Atul Gupta is an expert doctor with an experience of 29 years in the field of neurosurgery. He specializes in performing surgeries like brain tumors, cerebrovascular, epilepsy, and spine surgery.
Dr. Puneet Malik is one of the best neurologists with an experience of 10 years in performing a large number of complex brain and spinal cord surgeries. He specializes in removing clots, conducting tumor surgeries, brain bleed stoppage, etc. with great precision and care.
Dr. Shishir Kumar is a highly skilled Neurosurgeon, Neurointerventionist, and Endoscopic Spine Surgeon in Delhi/NCR. With 9 years of experience, Dr. Kumar offers comprehensive treatment for various neurological conditions, prioritizing patient education and a collaborative approach at Yashoda Hospital & Research Centre, Nehru Nagar, Ghaziabad.