The Different Types of Brain Cancer

Last updated: Sunday, April 21, 2013 - Save & Share - Leave a Comment

Cancer of the brain is usually called a brain tumor. Cancers of the brain are the consequence of abnormal growths of cells in the brain. Brain cancer can arise from many different types of brain cells (primary brain cancer) or occur when cancer cells from another part of the body spread (metastasize) to the brain. Brain cancers can arise from primary brain cells, the cells that form other brain components (for example, membranes, blood vessels), or from the growth of cancer cells that develop in other organs and that have spread to the brain by the bloodstream (metastatic brain cancer).

Brain cancers are relatively rare, but they are often deadly. The most common malignant types are called gliomas, where cells called glia (cells which help support the nerve cells) become cancerous. Glioblastoma multiforme is the most common of the gliomas. Glioblastoma multiforme and anaplastic astrocytoma are fast-growing gliomas. Oligodendroglioma, another type of glioma, is also rare, but is most often found in adults. Gliomas make up between 50% to 60% of all brain tumours (malignant and benign) in both children and adults combined.

The exact cause of cancer is unknown. Brain cancer that originates in the brain is called a primary brain tumour. It can spread and destroy nearby parts of the brain. Cancers of the breast, lung, skin, or blood cells (leukemia or lymphoma) can also spread (metastasize) to the brain, causing metastatic brain cancer. These groups of cancer cells can then grow in a single area or in different parts of the brain.

The following factors have been proposed as possible risk factors for primary brain tumors, but whether these factors actually increase an individual’s risk of a brain tumor is not known for sure.

Symptoms of brain cancer vary but often include weakness, difficulty walking, seizures, and headaches. Other common symptoms are nausea, vomiting, blurry vision, or a change in a person’s alertness, mental capacity, memory, speech, or personality.

There are two essential brain cancer types that can be treated; these are benign and malignant types. Some types of cancer begin in the brain and are called as primary tumors and those that are metastatic tumors are a result of some cancerous or disease causing cells spread from other parts of the body to the brain. brain cancer types vary even in the symptoms, some tumors are detected with visible symptoms while other show up only in an imaging scan or an autopsy.

Glioma brain cancer: The glial cells are the place from where this tumor originates in the brain or spine.

Meningioma brain cancer: Arising from meninges or the membranes encompassing the central nervous system, this brain cancer comes out in diverse forms. It is one of the most common primary tumors affecting individuals.

Pituitary adenoma brain cancer: Arising from the pituitary gland which is one of the significant parts of the cranium of the brain, this type of cancer can range from the smallest to as large at 10 mm in size. They are often detected only through brain scans or autopsies.

Nerve sheath brain cancer: Originating in the nervous system, this tumor is one of those types of cancer that are primarily made up of myelin around the nerves of the nervous system.

Posted in Brain Cancer, Health Articles • Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Top Of Page

Write a comment