Recognizing adult brain cancer types

Cancer is a disease that makes cells grow abnormally and multiply rapidly. In this article, we will look at different types of brain cancers or tumors that are commonly seen in adults.

Brain tumors can be broadly classified into malignant or benign, and primary or secondary.


Benign tumors

Benign tumors are harmless and are found in the cells of hormone glands. These tumors are slow in their growth and do not harm other tissues. These are also not cancerous. However, these benign tumors can be problematic as they apply pressure on the brain and on the pituitary glands.

Malignant tumors

A malignant tumor consists of cancer cells which grow at a higher speed. They also harm the tissues and other organs surrounding them. Tumor cells can break off from the main tumor and pass from the blood stream to other parts of the body leading to the growth of cancerous cells elsewhere. They keep multiplying and eventually form secondary tumors.

Primary tumors

Primary tumors grow at the site where the tumor progression initially began and formed a cancerous mass. Although they damage the normal brain tissue and can build pressure inside the skull, they do not spread easily to other parts.

There are many types of primary brain tumor. Each type is classified on scale 1 to 4. While 1 and 2 are low grade, 3 and 4 are said to be of high grade as they are more aggressive and grow faster.

The most common primary brain tumors are known as gliomas. Astrocytomas, oligodendroglia’s, ependymomas, meningioma’s, and schwannomas are different types of gliomas.

Secondary tumors

Secondary brain tumors are tumors that can spread from other parts of the body to the brain. Cancers of the lung, kidney, colon, breast or the skin can all cause secondary brain tumors. Metastatic tumors are seen in secondary brain tumors that also tend to recur in the same location as before.

Types of adult brain tumors

There are several types of adult brain tumors:

1. Meningioma is a type of benign tumor that grows in the cells of the brain.

2. Medulloblastoma is a high grade tumor that grows in the cerebellum.

3. Different types of gliomas that grow from the glial cells.

4. Pituitary tumor is also a high-risk tumor affecting the pituitary gland.

What are the symptoms of adult brain tumor?

There are certain recognizable symptoms that can help determine whether a person has a brain tumor.

1. Vomiting

2. Headaches

3. Change in personality

4. Change in ability to grasp things

5. Seizures

A growing tumor also has symptoms like:

1. Weakness in the all the muscles of the body

2. Difficulty in tasks like balancing and co-ordination

3. Confusion

4. Hormonal changes

5. Loss of smell

How is adult brain tumor treated?

Treatments for adult brain tumor are based on the type of tumor the patient is suffering from. A variety of treatments are available for patients. Choosing the right treatmentfollow can be difficult and therefore, the doctor, the patient, and the patient’s family should all be consulted before deciding on the treatment.

The standard treatment followed is surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Benign tumors can be removed by surgery and are completely curable. Treatment of malignant tumors depends on the size and the location of the tumor. In some cases, the tumor may reappear after a few years or months. Some treatments may not cure the tumor, but can limit the spread of cancer.

The results of treatment often depend on the type of tumor. While surgery can cure most cancers, some may need advanced treatment. If the tumor is in the secondary malignant stage, the results may not be as effective. Every individual’s case is unique and treatment must be customized for best results.

Author Bio: Sameer Gupta is a medical writer who writes well-researched, in-depth cancer articles which provide relevant information to help patients combat the deadly disease. Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) prides in providing the best cancer treatment solutions to patients who have endured to various cancer types. With cancer centers in Philadelphia, Tulsa, Chicago, Newnan etc., CTCA aims at providing the best treatment options to cancer patients.

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