Types of Brain Tumors

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Types of Brain Tumors

A Brain tumor is typically caused by rapid cell multiplication in the brain. Often, tumors caused by this abnormal cell division starts spreading to neighbouring cells spreading the tumor as it progresses. There are primarily two categories of brain tumor, namely,

  • Benign which is non-cancerous in nature
  • Malignant which is cancerous in nature

Usually, a tumor spreading to the neighbouring regions is often considered an increasing sign of malignancy.

There are over 130 brain tumor types discovered by World Health Organization as of now, each classified and named according to the cell type they originate from. Brain tumors vary according to their size, shape, and region of origin. The most common type of brain tumors discovered as of now are-

Gliomas

A glioma is a type of brain tumor that originates in the glial cells of the brain, which are supporting cells primarily responsible for proper functioning of the nervous system About 30% of all brain tumors are classified under this category and 80% of the time, these cells can be malignant in nature.

Primarily, there four types of tumor producing glial cells which are classified based in their type and genetic features. The genetic features in these cells can be used to predict the behaviour or malignancy of the tumor over the course of time. 

1. Astrocytoma

The tumor in this case originates in the cells known as astrocytes and can usually be found in the brain and spinal cord. These cells can either gradually grow into malignancy or can rapidly progress towards cancer. Seizures, headaches, or nausea can be common symptoms that are caused by Astrocytoma tumors.

2. Ependymomas

This tumor usually originates the ependymal cells present in the brain or spinal cord and may cause moderate to severe nervous imbalance since these cells are responsible for nourishment of the nervous system.

3. Oligodendrogliomas

This type of tumor originates in the oligodendrocyte cells which protect the nerves and the nervous system. These tumors can occur at any age and may cause excessive weakness or disability in the patient’s body.

4. Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma is a type of tumor that originates from astrocytes but are usually quite aggressively cancerous in nature. This condition is more common in older adults than children.

Craniopharyngioma

Craniopharyngioma are slow-growing tumors that typically form at the base of the skull or lower section of the spine. These type of brain tumor are more common in people between the ages 50-60 and are mostly benign in nature and are rare in nature, precisely making up 2% of all the primary brain tumor.

Medulloblastima

Medulloblastima is a malignant form of brain tumor which is mostly common in children aged 4-10 rather than adults. These tumor typically form in the cerebellum and is named after medulla, the bridge that connects the brain and the top part of the spinal cord together. Medulloblastima usually spreads from the location of origination and down the spinal cord.

Meningioma

Meningioma is a common intrcranial tumor which is usually benign in nature and constitutes about 10-15% of the brain neoplasms. Meninges, a membrane-like structure in our brain is where the tumor originally starts. Malignant meningioma is quite rare.

Pituitary Adenoma Tumor

Pituitary Adenoma Tumors are one of the most common forms of intracranial tumor right after gliomas and usually affect people between the ages 30-40. However, in some rare cases, this tumor type can affect children too but the good part is, these tumors can be successfully treated. Most of the pituitary adenoma tumors are fairly benign in nature and even if the tumor is malignant in nature, metastasis (spreading)to other parts of the body is fairly uncommon.

Haemangioblastoma

Haemangioblastoma are slow-growing tumors which are more prevalent in men than women. This tumor originates from the blood vessels in the cerebellum and is typically common amongst people between the ages 40-60. Haemangioblastoma are often big in size and may or may not be accompanied by a tumor. There are many other intricate brain tumor types. For detailed information, your doctor will perform diagnostic tests to determine the exact cause, location, intensity, malignancy, and curability of the tumor.

There are many other intricate brain tumor types. For detailed information, your doctor will perform diagnostic tests to determine the exact cause, location, intensity, malignancy, and curability of the tumor.

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