Brain Tumor - Types

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What are the tumor grades and types?

When most normal cells grow old or get damaged, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes, this process goes wrong. New cells form when the body doesn't need them, and old or damaged cells don't die as they should. The buildup of extra cells often forms a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.

Primary brain tumors can be benign or malignant:

Benign brain tumors do not contain cancer cells:

  • Usually, benign tumors can be removed, and they seldom grow back.
  • Benign brain tumors usually have an obvious border or edge. Cells from benign tumors rarely invade tissues around them. They don't spread to other parts of the body. However, benign tumors can press on sensitive areas of the brain and cause serious health problems.
  • Unlike benign tumors in most other parts of the body, benign brain tumors are sometimes life threatening.
  • Benign brain tumors may become malignant.

Malignant brain tumors (also called brain cancer) contain cancer cells:

  • Malignant brain tumors are generally more serious and often are a threat to life.
  • They are likely to grow rapidly and crowd or invade the nearby healthy brain tissue.
  • Cancer cells may break away from malignant brain tumors and spread to other parts of the brain or to the spinal cord. They rarely spread to other parts of the body.
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See what others are saying

Comment from: ceedie, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I was diagnosed in 2010 with a macroadenoma of the pituitary gland. I woke up in the middle of the night with the worst headache of my life and started vomiting soon after. Within 2 weeks I was having surgery to remove it. I had gained a lot of weight and my eyesight was blurry even with glasses. The tumor was pressing on my optic nerve which is the reason why surgery was done so quickly. Since the surgery my eyesight returned to normal but my hair fell out and I now have thyroid problems and taking medication. I had other hormonal imbalances from the surgery but they have resolved. I still have a yearly MRI and blood tests every 6 months to make sure there is no recurrence.

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Comment from: ME, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 07

I was diagnosed with Triple Negative brain cancer 4 years ago. My back has hurt for several years, but tolerable. Now, I am having headaches for almost 2 weeks now, and they are pretty bad. I also have fallen a couple of times and have at least 1 dizzy spell each day. I do not want to go to the doctor and start having a bunch of tests. My job is very stressful, I am in college, and I have a teenager. It could be stress, so I don"t want to waste time and money if a test is not needed.

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