Brain tumors are one of the most severe forms of cancer. Different tumors form in various brain parts, each with risks, symptoms, and possible treatments.
Brain tumors can affect people at any age and are caused by factors such as family history, exposure to radiation, and lifestyle choices. They can also occur spontaneously without an identifiable cause.
Some brain tumors are benign, meaning they are not aggressive and do not spread to other body parts. Surgery may be impossible if the growth is in a delicate brain area.
Malignant tumors have the potential to spread to other parts of the body, making them more severe and dangerous. Treatment for malignant tumors typically involves surgery in combination with radiation and chemotherapy.
Brain tumor symptoms depend on the tumor's location, type, and size. Common symptoms may include headaches, vision problems, changes in speech or behavior, and physical weakness.
Brain tumors are generally diagnosed using a combination of imaging tests such as MRI and CT scans and biopsies to look at the tumor cells.
Surgery is the most common method of removing a brain tumor though depending on the location, removing the entire tumor may not be possible.
While survival rates vary significantly depending on the type and location of the tumor, overall 5-year survival rates for all brain tumors are between 30-50%
Following treatment, many brain cancer survivors experience long-term side effects such as memory and speech problems and physical issues such as seizures and hypothalamic syndromes.
The risk of developing a brain tumor increases with age and is higher in men than women.
Over the past few decades, new treatments for brain tumors have been developed, including targeted therapies such as immunotherapy.