A brain tumor or intracranial neoplasm occurs when abnormal cells form within the brain. There are two main types of tumors: malignant or cancerous tumors and benign tumors.Cancerous tumors can be divided into primary tumors that start within the brain, and secondary tumors that have spread from somewhere else, known as brain metastasis tumors. This article deals mainly with tumors that start within the brain. All types of brain tumors may produce symptoms that vary depending on the part of the brain involved.
Symptoms as consequences of increased intracranial pressure (often first noticed) Large tumors or tumors with extensive peritumoral swelling (edema) inevitably lead to elevated intracranial pressure which translates clinically into headaches, vomiting (with or without nausea), altered state of consciousness (somnolence, coma), dilation of the pupil on the side of the lesion (anisocoria), papilledema (prominent optic disc at the funduscopic eye examination). However, even small tumors obstructing the passage of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) can also present such symptoms. Increased intracranial pressure may result in brain herniation (i.e. displacement) of certain parts of the brain, such as the cerebellar tonsils or the temporal uncus, resulting in lethal brainstem compression. In very young children, elevated intracranial pressure may cause an increase in the diameter of the skull and bulging of the fontanelles.
Brain tumours affect people of all ages. There are almost 1,400 new cases of malignant brain tumours in Australia each year and many more benign brain tumours that can be just as deadly if the tumour is in a vital area of the brain. More than 1,200 people die each year from malignant and benign brain tumours. Brain cancer is also one of the few cancers which occur in children, with 115 new cases a year among children. These following links have been prepared to help you understand more about brain cancer and brain tumour.