A brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain. Brain tumors can be benign, which means they're not cancerous, or malignant, which means they are cancerous.
Most brain tumors start in other parts of your body and then spread to your brain. This type of brain tumor is called a metastatic brain tumor.
Brain tumors can also begin in your brain. These types of brain tumors are called primary brain tumors. Primary brain tumors are much less common than metastatic brain tumors.
Brain tumors can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on their size and location. These symptoms can include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in your ability to think, speak or see
- Weakness or paralysis in one or more parts of your body
- Changes in your mood or behavior
If you experience any of these symptoms, it's important to see your doctor so they can rule out other possible causes.
Brain tumors are usually diagnosed with a combination of medical imaging tests and a biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed so it can be analyzed for cancer cells.
Brain tumors are treated with surgery, radiation therapy, and/or chemotherapy. The type of treatment you receive will depend on the type and stage of your brain tumor.
In some cases, brain tumors can be cured. However, many people with brain tumors will experience long-term effects from their treatment. These effects can include changes in your cognition, mood, and physical abilities.
If you have been diagnosed with a brain tumor, it's important to talk to your doctor about all of your treatment options and long--term effects of the treatment.