Brain Cancer – Symptoms & Diagnosis

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The term “brain cancer although often used by the general public, is really not the one often employed by the medical profession.

Brain cancers contain primary brain tumors, which start in the brain and practically never spread to other parts of the body, and secondary tumors (or metastases), which are triggered by cancers that began in another part of the body.

A brain tumor is any intracranial tumor created by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, normally either found within the brain itself, within the cranial nerves, within the brain envelopes, skull, pituitary, and pineal body, or from cancers primarily located in other organs. Although they will affect any part of the brain, primary brain tumors in children are generally located within the posterior cranial fossil; and in adults, within the anterior two-thirds of the cerebral hemispheres.

The most common brain tumors or brain cancers are gliomas, which start within the glial (supportive) tissue. Several sorts of gliomas include astrocytomas, ependymomas, and oligodendrogliomas.

The development of certain sorts of primary brain tumors or brain cancers has been linked to exposure to radiation, especially if exposure happened in childhood. it’s generally believed that higher radiation doses increase the danger of eventually developing brain cancer.

Radiation-induced brain tumors can take anywhere from ten to thirty years to make. The only known risk factor for brain tumors is exposure to vinyl chloride and/or radiation. There are no other environmental factors that are known to cause brain tumors.

The so-called tumor suppressor gene mutations and deletions are implicated in some sorts of brain tumors. Inherited diseases like Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, neurofibromatosis type 2, and multiple endocrine neoplasias pose a high risk of having a brain tumor.

Symptoms of brain tumors and brain cancer are caused by damage to the vital tissue and by pressure on the brain because the tumor grows within the limited space within the skull.

If a brain tumor grows very slowly, its symptoms may appear so gradually that they’re sometimes overlooked for an extended period of time. Headache, nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, seizures, amnesia, weakness, visual changes, problems with speech and language, personality changes, and thought-processing problems are the most common symptoms of brain tumors or brain cancer.

These symptoms could also be caused by brain tumors or by other problems. If an individual is experiencing such symptoms, consulting a doctor directly is strongly advised.

A person diagnosed with brain cancer or brain tumour will undergo treatments that include surgery (surgical resection), which is suggested for the bulk of brain tumors. it’s rare in primary brain tumour to be cured without surgical resection. Other treatments include chemotherapy and radiation therapy.


The signs and symptoms of a brain tumour vary significantly and depend upon the brain tumor’s size, location, and rate of growth.

General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include:

  • New onset or change in the pattern of headaches
  • Headaches that gently become more frequent and more severe
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting
  • Vision problems, like blurred vision, diplopia or loss of sight
  • The steady 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, particularly in someone who doesn’t have a history of seizures
  • Hearing problems

Many different sorts of primary brain tumors exist. Each gets its name from the sort of cells involved. Examples include:

Gliomas. These tumors begin within the brain or medulla spinalis and include astrocytomas, ependymomas, glioblastomas, oligoastrocytomas, and oligodendrogliomas.
Meningiomas. A meningioma may be a tumor that arises from the membranes that surround your brain and medulla spinalis (meninges). Most meningiomas are noncancerous.
Acoustic neuromas (schwannomas). These are benign tumors that develop on the nerves that control balance and hearing leading from your internal ear to your brain.
Pituitary adenomas. These are mostly benign tumors that develop within the pituitary at the bottom of the brain. These tumors can affect the pituitary hormones and have effects throughout the body.
Medulloblastomas. These are the most common cancerous brain tumors in children. A medulloblastoma starts in the lower back a part of the brain and tends to spread through the cerebrospinal fluid. These tumors are less common in adults, but they are doing occur.
Germ cell tumors. Reproductive cell tumors may develop during childhood when the testicles or ovaries form. But sometimes reproductive cell tumors affect other parts of the body, like the brain.
Craniopharyngiomas. These rare, noncancerous tumors start near the brain’s pituitary, which secretes hormones that control many body functions. Because the craniopharyngioma slowly grows, it can affect the pituitary and other structures near the brain.

How is brain cancer diagnosed?

A number of tests will be performed to consider the symptoms of brain cancer and confirm a diagnosis. Some of the more usual tests include:

  • a physical examination
  • imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • taking a sample of tissue (biopsy) from the brain for examination under a microscope.

Treatment options

Treatment and care of individuals with cancer are typically provided by a team of health professionals – called a multidisciplinary team.

Treatment for brain cancer depends on the stage of the disease, the severity of the symptoms, and therefore the person’s general health. Treatment may involve surgery to get rid of the affected area of the brain, and should also include radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy to destroy cancer cells.

Research is ongoing to seek out new ways to diagnose and treat different types of cancer. Some people could also be offered the choice of participating in a clinical test to check for new ways of treating brain cancer.

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9 thoughts on “Brain Cancer – Symptoms & Diagnosis

  1. This is something that I am scared to read about but I’m also thankful for the information that I got. This should help us watch out for ourselves and the people around us.

  2. Thank you so much for sharing all of this information. This was so thorough. I hope that somewhere out there, someone who needs this finds it. It’ll be big help to them.

  3. I learned so much reading this! I really didn’t know that much about brain cancer, and you did such a deep dive into it. Thank you!

  4. My (then) brother was diagnosed with brain cancer when he was 10yrs old. It was the most difficult time in our life as a family. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it after 2 years of surgeries and therapies, due to other complications.

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