What is Brain Cancer? (Definition)
According to the National Cancer Institute, brain and spinal cord tumors are growths of abnormal cells in tissues of the brain or spinal cord. Tumors that start in the brain are called primary brain tumors. A tumor that starts in another part of the body and spreads to the brain is called a metastatic brain tumor. Brain and spinal cord tumors may be either benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).
There are many types of brain and spinal cord tumors. They form in different cell types and different areas of the brain and spinal cord. The signs and symptoms of brain and spinal cord tumors depend on where the tumor forms, its size, how fast it is growing, and the age of the patient.
In adults, anaplastic astrocytomas and glioblastomas make up about one-third of brain tumors. In children, astrocytomas are the most common type of brain tumor.
Brain Cancer Symptoms and Signs
It’s often been said that early detection is the best medicine, and when it comes to treating diseases and conditions like brain cancer, the saying definitely holds true. It is important to pay attention to symptoms, however minor they may seem, as they could be the first signs of disease. In many cases, knowing the early warning signs of brain cancer can help identify the disease before it progresses, allowing for better treatment and treatment outcomes.
Many symptoms are common to many different types of diseases and conditions, such as unexplained weight loss, fatigue, etc. That’s why it’s so important to talk to your doctor about the symptoms you are experiencing so that a proper diagnosis can be made, and if necessary, you can begin treatment.
If you are experiencing any of the following signs and symptoms associated with brain cancer, consult with your doctor to identify what may be causing your symptoms. Advancements in diagnosing and treating brain cancer are occurring on a regular basis thanks to ongoing research being conducted at major medical research universities and institutions around the world.
According to the Mayo Clinic, signs and symptoms of brain tumors and brain cancer will vary greatly depending on the brain tumor’s size and location. Some symptoms may include:
General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include:
- New onset or change in pattern of headaches
- Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting
- Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
- Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
- Difficulty with balance
- Speech difficulties
- Confusion in everyday matters
- Personality or behavior changes
- Seizures, especially in someone who doesn’t have a history of seizures
- Hearing problems
See below for updated news and information regarding brain cancer and brain tumors including new medical research, treatments and advancements.
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