Brain Cancer

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Read more about causes of dizziness.

Brain Cancer Symptoms

Dizziness

Dizziness is a feeling of being lightheaded or woozy. Disturbances of the brain, gastrointestinal system, vision, and the vestibular system of the inner ear are known causes of dizziness. People often refer to dizziness as vertigo, unsteadiness, or lightheadedness.

Quick GuideCancer 101 Pictures Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Understanding Cancer

Cancer 101 Pictures Slideshow: A Visual Guide to Understanding Cancer

Brain cancer facts

  • 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. True brain cancers are those that arise in the brain itself.
  • Grades of brain cancers indicate how aggressive the cancer is.
  • Type of brain cancer indicates what kind of brain cells that gave rise to the tumor.
  • Staging of brain cancers indicates the extent of spread of the cancer.
  • Causes of brain cancer are difficult to prove; avoiding compounds linked to cancer production is advised.
  • Brain cancer symptoms vary but often include
  • Other common brain cancer symptoms are
    • nausea;
    • vomiting;
    • blurry vision;
    • a change in a person's alertness, mental capacity, memory, speech, or personality; and
    • some patients may hallucinate.
  • Diagnostic tests for brain cancer involve a history, physical exam, and usually a CT or MRI brain imaging procedure; sometimes a brain tissue biopsy is done.
  • Treatments usually are directed by a team of doctors and are designed for the individual patient; treatments may include surgery, radiotherapy, or chemotherapy, often in combination.
  • Side effects of treatments range from mild to severe, and patients need to discuss plans with their treatment team members to clearly understand potential side effects and their prognosis (outcomes).
  • Depending on the brain cancer type and overall health status of the patient, brain cancer frequently has only a fair to poor prognosis; children have a somewhat better prognosis.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/19/2016

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