A brain tumour is an abnormal development of cells inside the skull or brain; some of these tumours are benign, and some are cancerous. Brain tumours can develop directly from brain tissue itself (primary tumours) or they can metastasize from other cancers in the body and go to the brain. Options for brain cancer treatment depend on the kind, size, and location of the tumour. The aim of brain cancer treatment may be rehabilitative or may be symptom relief. Most of the 120 different forms of brain tumours are treatable.
Types of Brain Tumour
Several types of brain tumours have been identified. They are mostly classified into glial or non-glial tumours.
Glial brain tumours are composed of the glial cells in the brain, which include the following types of brain tumours:
- Astrocytoma: A benign brain tumour arising from the supporting brain cells which can be treated with surgery and can be found in both children and adults. There are different types of astrocytomas, such as:
- Pilocytic Astrocytoma
- Diffuse Astrocytoma
- Anaplastic Astrocytoma
- Glioblastoma Multiforme: It is an aggressive form of brain tumour.
- Ependymoma: These tumours are similar to gliomas and their behaviour may vary depending on their location in the nervous system.
Other types of brain cancers include the following:
- Craniopharyngioma: Craniopharyngiomas are benign tumours that grow near the pituitary gland and often press on nerves, blood vessels, and other parts of the brain surrounding the tumour. These tumours can cause vision and endocrinological problems.
- Dermoid and epidermoid cysts: These are slow-growing masses that develop from leftover skin tissue in the stage of embryonic development.
- Lymphoma: This form of tumour forms in a part of the lymphatic system and can either spread from other parts to the brain or form in the brain itself.
- Meningioma: It is the most common type of primary brain tumour which originates in the meninges, the outer three layers of the tissue that covers and protects the brain under the skull. Most meningiomas are considered benign and slow-growing.
- Chondromas: Chondromas are rare benign tumours composed of cartilage and are found in the base of the skull and the paranasal sinuses.
- Schwannoma (neuroma): These are also slow-growing, benign tumours of the nerve that connects the ear to the brain which often leads to hearing loss.
- Pituitary adenoma: This type of brain tumour originates in the pituitary gland and grows slowly but can cause vision and endocrinological problems. Most adenomas are benign and treatable.
- Pinealoma (pineocytoma, pineoblastoma): Pineal tumours are those appearing in the pineal gland, resulting in hydrocephalus by blocking the cerebrospinal fluid pathways.
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Tumour
Depending on the size and location of the brain tumour, individuals may experience different symptoms. Common signs of a brain tumour may include:
- Headaches or pressure that worsen in the morning.
- More frequent and intense headaches, sometimes resembling migraines or tension headaches.
- Eye problems such as double vision, blurred vision, or peripheral vision loss.
- Increased appetite and weight gain.
- Vertigo, dizziness, or a sensation of the world spinning.
- Loss of sensation or movement in an arm or leg.
- Memory problems.
- Speech difficulties.
- Hearing problems.
- Profound fatigue.
- Seizures, especially if there’s no history of prior seizures.
- Changes in personality or behaviour.
- Difficulty following basic instructions.
Symptoms of a Brain Tumour
The cerebrum is referred to as the brain’s primary structure. Different brain tumour symptoms may arise from various types of brain tumours in the cerebrum.
- Tumours in the front of the brain – Located in the frontal lobes at the front of the brain, these tumours may impact one’s ability to walk and maintain balance. They can also lead to personality changes, such as a loss of interest in routine tasks and forgetfulness.
- Tumours in the centre of the brain – Situated in the upper middle region of the brain where the parietal lobes are located, these tumours play a role in processing sensory data from the senses of touch, taste, smell, vision, and hearing. Parietal lobe brain tumours can result in sensation-related issues.
- Tumours in the lower portion of the brain – Found on the sides of the brain in the temporal lobes, these tumours are involved in processing sensory data and memory. Memory problems may be induced by tumours in the temporal lobe, causing individuals to perceive unreal flavours, smells, or sights. Occasionally, they can experience strange or unpleasant tastes or odours.
- Tumours in the back of the brain – The occipital lobes, located at the rear of the brain, are responsible for managing eyesight. Brain tumours in the occipital lobe can impair vision.
What Causes Brain Tumour?
When cells in or around the brain experience DNA alterations, brain tumours develop. The instructions directing a cell’s behaviour are stored in its DNA. When healthy cells naturally expire as a part of their life cycle, the alterations instruct the cells to proliferate swiftly and stay alive. As a result, the brain produces many additional cells. A tumour might develop when the cells grow together.
It is unclear what triggers the DNA alterations that result in brain tumours. Children’s DNA can occasionally alter because of their parents. The modifications may raise the chance of developing a brain tumour. Children who have brain tumours are more likely to have primary brain tumours. Brain tumours in adults are more frequently caused by cancer that first developed elsewhere and then metastasized to the brain.
Risk Factors for Brain Tumour
The risk of getting a brain tumour might be increased by a number of risk factors. These brain tumour causes consist of:
- Radiation exposure – The chance of developing a brain tumour is higher in those who have been exposed to powerful radiation. The radiation is powerful enough to alter the DNA of cells in the body. Tumours and cancers may develop as a result of DNA alterations.
- Inherited syndrome – Although it is uncommon, some forms of brain tumours can be passed down through families. If several members in the family have had brain tumours, the likelihood of acquiring one increases.
- Obesity – The chance of getting some types of brain tumours rises if an individual is overweight or obese.
- Age and Race – Although brain tumours can develop at any age, older persons are more likely to get them. Adults are the main target of some brain tumours. Most brain tumours in children are benign. Race also has a role in the development of brain tumours; Caucasians have a higher risk than Asians or Africans.
- Past Cancer – An increased chance of getting brain tumours in adults exists for those who had childhood illnesses like leukaemia. Brain tumours may also be more likely to develop in adults who have had cancer, although further study is required to validate this conclusion.
- Chemical exposure – A person’s chance of acquiring a brain tumour can increase if they are exposed to particular hazardous substances at their home or place of employment. Diesel exhaust, cigarette smoke, coal tar volatiles, cadmium and nickel compounds, and other chemicals are examples of recognised carcinogens (substances that cause cancer).
It’s crucial to discuss brain tumour symptoms with a doctor who specialises in brain tumour treatment, brain tumour surgery and can confirm or rule out the presence of a tumour. Patients can visit Wockhardt Hospitals to get assistance in identifying the underlying brain tumour causes and brain tumour signs. We can conduct sophisticated diagnostic tests on-site if our oncologists have a malignancy suspicion, providing our patients with the information they need as soon as possible and start brain tumour treatment. Wockhardt Hospital provides one of the best brain tumour treatments in India.
FAQs on Brain Tumour
Q. How does the type, size, and location of a brain tumour affect its potential lethality?
Any type of brain tumour, whether benign, malignant, or metastatic, has the potential to be deadly. Brain tumours can vary greatly in size. Some are discovered while still small, as they produce noticeable symptoms. Others grow to a considerable size before detection. The brain is divided into many regions, some of which are more active than others. If a brain tumour develops in a less active area of the brain, it may not exhibit immediate symptoms. Consequently, the tumour can grow quite large before diagnosis.