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Brain Cancer

Cancer Type

What is Brain Cancer?

Brain cancer can be a tumour that has spread from tumour cells that originated in other parts of the body or it can be an abnormal growth that begins in the brain. Any tissue within the skull may be impacted, including the pituitary, pineal, cranial nerves, brain, and meninges. Depending on the type of cancer and the patient's general health, brain cancer has a medium to poor prognosis; children have a marginally better prognosis.

Medulloblastoma, a paediatric malignant primary brain tumour that spreads through the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and frequently metastasizes to various locations along the surface of the brain and spinal cord, affects over 2,500 Indian children annually and is one of the growing number of brain-related illnesses globally. Despite how frightening it all appears, only a small percentage of people are affected by brain cancer annually. The prognosis is quite encouraging if the disease is discovered early. In fact, age plays a part in overall survival rates following a diagnosis of brain tumour. Over 75% of those under the age of 15 survive for five years or longer. Over 72% of individuals between the ages of 15 and 39 survive for five years. Thus, age and time both support your.


Brain tumours, lesions, and cysts can be classified into approximately 120 different types based on their location and the cells that comprise them. In order to create a uniform system of classification and grading among global health networks, the World Health Organisation (WHO) designed this system. The objective is to more effectively schedule therapy and project results in an organised, methodical way.

Primary brain cancers originate and remain in the brain tissue.

Compared to primary brain tumours, secondary brain cancers are more common. These cancers begin in other parts of the body and then migrate to the brain. Among the most common primary cancers that can spread to the brain are those of the lung, breast, kidney, colon, prostate, and skin.

Although not all tumours result in brain cancer, it is still vital to watch out for any growth or abnormality to prevent further complications.

While some brain tumours contain cancer cells, others do not:

  • Benign brain tumours do not contain cancerous cells. They grow slowly and are easily removed. Seldom do they infiltrate nearby brain tissue. Depending on where the tumour is, they may be fatal.
  • Brain tumours that are malignant can contain cancer cells. Healthy brain tissue can become infiltrated by cells, despite the differences in growth rates. Seldom do these infections spread outside of the brain and spinal cord.
  • Additional information on brain tumours

However, depending on where they originate, brain tumours are separated into two groups:

  • Meningiomas : The majority of cases of these primary brain tumours occur in adults. These are particularly prevalent in the 70s and 80s. They start in the lining of the brain, the meninges. They may be in the first, second, or third grade. Metastasis is rare, and they are not cancerous.
  • Glioma : A common kind of tumour that begins in the brain and can occasionally spread to the spinal cord is called glioma. Roughly one-third of brain tumours are gliomas. These cancers are caused by glial cells that support and encircle neurons. There are numerous gliomas to select from because glial cells can take on a range of sizes and shapes. These include:
    • Astrocytomas: Most frequently found in young adults or children, pilocyticastrocytomas are benign brain tumours that originate from supporting brain cells. Surgery can be used to treat the tumour if it can be removed in its entirety.
    • Oligodendrogliomas: These grow in the nerve-protecting layer-forming cells. Usually, they are in the first, second, or third grade. Usually, they

Other Typical Brain Tumour Types:

  • Apical pharyngioma
  • Neuroma Schwannoma
  • Pituitary adenoma
  • pineocytoma, pineoblastoma and pinealoma
  • Skin rashes
  • Cancer of the lymph nodes

The most common tumour types in children are as follows:

  • Medulloblastoma : This particular kind of tumour grows in the cerebellum. It's also known as a primitive neuroectodermal tumour. It's equivalent to fourth grade.
  • The ependymoma : A tumour called an ependymoma arises from the cells lining the spinal cord's ventricles or central canal. Usually the most affected are children and young adults. It might be in the initial, intermediate, or advanced grades.
  • Level I or Level II Astrocytoma : In children, this low-grade tumour can develop anywhere in the brain. In children, juvenile pilocytic astrocytoma is the most common form of the disease. It's an assignment for first grade.
  • Brainstem Glioma : A tumour called a brainstem glioma arises in the base of the brain. and has a significant impact on a lot of kids. This tumour may be high-grade or low-grade. The most common type of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma is described.


A brain tumour may cause generalised or specific symptoms:

  • Paralysis or convulsions
  • Headaches
  • Shifts in Personality
  • Memory Errors and Absences
  • Perplexity
  • Feeling queasy or throwing up
  • Weary
  • Having Trouble Swallowing
  • Vision and Other Sensory Experience Changes
  • Problems With Sleeping
  • Having Trouble Doing Everyday Tasks
  • Balance Problems
  • Feeling sleepy
  • Face numbness
  • Depression


A range of brain tissues, including glial cells, astrocytes, and other brain cell types, can give rise to primary brain tumours. Metastatic brain cancer is the term used to describe the spread of cancer cells from one organ to the brain. However, the reasons behind the change from benign to malignant cells in primary and metastatic brain tumours are unknown. It has been found by researchers that individuals with specific risk factors have an increased likelihood of developing brain cancer. Any factor that increases your chances of getting sick is considered a risk factor because the majority of brain tumours have no known cause. A few risk factors have been linked to an increased risk of brain tumours, according to research.

Extra Risk Elements

  • Age: Brain tumours are generally more common in older adults. The location and kind of cell determine the age factor. For instance, medulloblastomas are not as common in adults; gliomas, on the other hand, are the most common cancer in adults. There is an increased risk of meningiomas and craniopharyngiomas in adults over 50. There is still evidence that these tumours can develop at any age.
  • Immunity: Brain lymphomas are more common in people with weakened immune systems. A compromised immune system can be brought on by various tumour treatments, drugs to stop organ rejection after transplantation, and illnesses like acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Additionally, some cases might be congenital, meaning they exist from birth.
  • Gender: While there is no universal rule for whether men or women are more prone to acquire brain tumors, meningiomas are twice as likely to occur in women while medulloblastomas are more commonly observed in men.
  • Family History : This is a rare occurrence, with only a few families having multiple individuals with brain tumors.
  • Ionisation radiation : An excessive exposure to -rays can cause cell damage, which in turn can result in a brain tumour. Exposure to ionising radiation has been linked to an increased risk of brain malignancies, including gliomas and meningiomas.
  • Additional Exposure : There is a connection between industrial chemicals or solvents and an increased risk of brain tumours. Even though the evidence is unclear, there is a higher risk for those who work in the rubber, pharmaceutical, and oil refining industries.


The appearance of the cells, which can be normal or abnormal, is used to categorise tumours. This observation is used by doctors to create treatment plans. They can also gauge the potential rate of brain tumour spread thanks to staging. The following is a list of brain tumour stages.

Brain tumours classified as grade 1 are low-grade malignant tumours that grow slowly. It is easy to confuse them with similar-looking healthy cells.

Brain tumours classified as grade 2 are malignant and grow gradually. They are prone to spreading to neighbouring tissues and have a high recurrence rate.

Brain tumours classified as grade 3 exhibit abnormalities, aggressive metastasis into adjacent brain regions, and a high probability of recurrence.

Brain tumours classified as grade 4 seem to be extremely aggressive and actively spread into the tissues surrounding the brain. In rare instances, benign tumours may progress to malignancy, and a lower-grade tumour may recur alongside a higher-grade tumour.


A medical history and physical examination are part of the first test, which is an interview with a healthcare professional. This interaction's result will show whether further testing is necessary or not.

  • Imaging Tests : To ascertain the location, cause, and stage of your tumor's progression, doctors will recommend imaging tests like CT, MRI, PET Scan, Electroencephalography, etc.
  • Biopsy : A biopsy is a procedure in which a sample of tissue is taken, and its malignancy is assessed by looking at it under a microscope. There are several methods for performing biopsies, such as laparoscopic, surgical, and needle methods. For brain tumours, there are two kinds of biopsies.

    One sort of biopsy that uses a laser is called a stereotactic biopsy. This kind of biopsy is guided by imaging examinations.

    When imaging scans confirm the tumor's presence, the neurosurgeon may choose to perform an open or surgical biopsy (craniotomy) rather than a needle biopsy. Alternatively, a craniotomy procedure might be used to remove the malignant tissues. The process of debulking involves removing the bulk of the tumour.


The location, size, type, and grade of the cancer, along with the patient's age and health, all influence the course of treatment. A treatment plan that incorporates several different forms of treatment is known as a multidisciplinary approach.

  • Surgery: Usually, surgery is the first step in the treatment process. For grade 1 cancers, surgery might be enough because the tumour can be removed. If not, it might be able to reduce the tumor's size and ease the symptoms.
  • Chemotherapy : Chemotherapy is used to get rid of brain cancer cells. It can be administered intravenously, orally, or, less commonly, through wafers that a surgeon implants into the patient's brain.
  • Targeted therapy : It is limited to treating particular types of brain tumours. These drugs help to stop tumour growth and spread by specifically targeting parts of cancer cells.
  • Immunotherapy: A few types of immunotherapy have demonstrated promise in the treatment of brain metastases from melanoma and lung cancer.
  • Radiation therapy: After surgery, radiation therapy is used to eradicate any tumour cells that may still be present in the affected area. It is also possible to administer radiation therapy alone if surgery is not an option.