Brain Cancer - Experience

Not ready to share? Read other Patient Comments

Please describe your experience with brain cancer.

Share your story with others:

MedicineNet appreciates your comment. Your comment may be displayed on the site and will always be published anonymously.Patient Comments FAQs

Enter your Comment

Tell us a bit about your background to make your comments more useful to other MedicineNet users. (Optional)

Screen Name: *

Gender of Patient: Male Female

Age Range of Patient:

I am a: Patient Caregiver


* Screen Name will appear next to the published comment. Please do not include your full name or email address.

By submitting your comment, and other materials (collectively referred to as a "Submission") to MedicineNet, you grant MedicineNet permission to use, copy, transmit, publish, display, edit and modify your Submission in connection with its Web site. MedicineNet will not pay you for your Submission. You represent that you have all rights necessary for MedicineNet to use your Submission as set forth above.

Please keep these guidelines in mind when writing your comment:

  • Please make sure you address the question asked.
  • Due to the overwhelming number of comments received, not all comments will be published.
  • When selecting comments to publish, our staff will choose those that are educational and complement the topic. Please try to stay on topic.
  • Your comment may be edited. We would typically edit comments to make them clearer and more readable. We will remove personal information such as last names, email and web addresses, and other potentially harmful information.
  • We will not notify you if your comment has been published. We suggest that you check back on the topic article regularly.
  • We do not provide medical or healthcare advice, treatment, or diagnosis.

Thank you for participating!


I have read and agree to abide by the MedicineNet Terms and Conditions and the MedicineNet Privacy Policy (required).

To prevent our systems from spam, please complete the following prior to submitting your comment.

Please select the white triangle:

What is brain cancer?

Brain cancer is a disease of the brain in which cancer cells (malignant) arise in the brain tissue. Cancer cells grow to form a mass of cancer tissue (tumor) that interferes with brain functions such as muscle control, sensation, memory, and other normal body functions. Tumors composed of cancer cells are called malignant tumors, and those composed of mainly noncancerous cells are called benign tumors. Cancer cells that develop from brain tissue are called primary brain tumors while tumors that spread from other body sites to the brain are termed metastatic brain tumors. Statistics suggest that brain cancer occurs infrequently and is likely to develop in about 22,000 new people per year with about 13,000 deaths as estimated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI).

Not all brain tumors are alike, even if they arise from the same type of brain tissue. Tumors are assigned a grade depending on how the cells in the tumor appear microscopically. The grade also provides insight as to the cell's growth rate. NCI lists the following grades:

  • Grade I: The tissue is benign. The cells look nearly like normal brain cells, and they grow slowly.


  • Grade II: The tissue is malignant. The cells look less like normal cells than do the cells in a grade I tumor.


  • Grade III: The malignant tissue has cells that look very different from normal cells. The abnormal cells are actively growing and have a distinctly abnormal appearance (anaplastic).


  • Grade IV: The malignant tissue has cells that look most abnormal and tend to grow quickly.

The most common primary brain tumors are usually named for the brain tissue type from which they originally developed. These are gliomas, meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, vestibular schwannomas, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (medulloblastomas). Gliomas have several subtypes which include astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, ependymomas, and choroid plexus papillomas. When the grades are coupled with the tumor name, it gives doctors a better understanding about the severity of the brain cancer. For example, a grade III (anaplastic) glioma is an aggressive tumor, while an acoustic neuroma is a grade I benign tumor. However, even benign tumors can cause serious problems if they grow big enough to cause increased intracranial pressure or obstruct vascular structures or cerebrospinal fluid flow.

Brain cancers are staged (stage describes the extent of the cancer) according to their cell type and grade because they seldom spread to other organs, while other cancers, such as breast or lung cancer, are staged according to so-called TMN staging which is based on the location and spread of cancer cells. In general, these cancer stages range from 0 to 4, with stage 4 indicating the cancer has spread to another organ (highest stage).

Return to Brain Cancer

See what others are saying

Comment from: saracobb, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: May 30

My husband was diagnosed stage 4 brain cancer. He has opted out of any treatment. He also has a tumor on the kidney and one on his lung both close to arteries. He prefers to die naturally as they told him it is terminal. One month ago, he has lost his sight.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: ann, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 31

My husband had glioblastoma multiforme, stage 4. He had vague symptoms for a long time such as personality changes, tiredness and a headache that he said was a dull ache in the side of his head. He had seen his doctor many times but it was only after he had symptoms of slurred speech and dragging his feet that we took him to the emergency room where they scanned his head thinking he had a stroke. He had surgery, radiation and chemotherapy treatments. He passed away 9 months later. I would say not to ignore symptoms and keep after it if you think the doctor hasn't gotten it right. It is good to get a second opinion.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

STAY INFORMED

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!