What is a Brain Tumor?
A brain tumor is a collection of abnormal cells that create a mass or growth in the brain. There are multiple types of brain tumors; some are benign (noncancerous) and others can be malignant (cancerous). Brain tumors can originate within your brain or come from other cancers in your body that has spread to your brain (metastatic). Here at MD West ONE, our Neurosurgery and Spine Specialists are trained to treat any form of brain tumor.
Signs and Symptoms
Because the brain is so complex, a brain tumor can affect you in many different ways such as:
- New headaches or your current headaches have changed pattern
- Headaches that get worse or come on more often
- Random nausea or vomiting without cause
- Vision issues: blurred vision, double vision, or loss of peripheral vision
- You slowly start losing sensation or movement in an arm or leg
- Issues with balance
- Speech difficulties
- Feeling very tired
- Daily confusion
- Difficulty making decisions
- Inability to follow simple commands
- Personality or behavior changes
- Seizures, especially in someone who doesn't have a history of seizures
- Hearing problems
What are some of the most common tumors?
- Astrocytoma - this is a tumor that begins in a brain cell called an astrocyte -- it can form in your brain, brain stem, or spinal cord
- Meningioma - this is a tumor in your meninges -- most of these tumors are not cancerous
- Acoustic neuroma (schwannomas) - a noncancerous growth that forms on the vestibulocochlear nerve
- Pituitary adenomas - a pituitary tumor can cause the pituitary gland to release too much or too little hormones that help with a lot of your body functions.
What can cause a brain tumor?
The majority of the time it is unknown why brain tumors develop. There are some risk factors that could aid the development of a tumor but are not the direct causes:
- Age: brain tumors are more prevalent in children and the elderly
- Gender: men are more likely to develop a brain tumor
- Exposure: certain solvents, pesticides, radiation, oil products, or rubber
- Race and ethnicity: within the United Stated population white people are more likely to have gliomas
- Head injury and seizures: serious head trauma has shown to have a relationship to brain tumors