A primary brain tumour happens when cells in your brain start to grow abnormally and in an uncontrolled way. There are over 120 types of brain tumours, differing based on the type of cell they start in, the risk of them growing and spreading and where they’re located.
Brain tumours are either:
Around 11,000 people are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour each year. Many more are diagnosed with secondary brain tumours, which is when the growth has spread from another part of your body.
Brain tumours that are treated early have a good chance of being cured through surgery and treatment. Late stage malignant tumours are harder to treat and sometimes treatment is focused on controlling the cancer and improving symptoms.
Brain tumour signs and symptoms vary, often depending on the location of the tumour in the brain. Common brain tumour symptoms include:
These symptoms can have many other causes, but you should see your doctor if symptoms are persistent or worsening.
Your doctor will perform a physical examination to check your movement, reflexes, vision and other functions of your brain. They may refer you for a CT or MRI scan to help confirm or rule out a brain tumour.
If a tumour is found, then other tests can help provide more details and plan treatment:
The treatment you have will depend on:
Treatment will usually involve a combination of:
Even if it’s not possible to completely cure a tumour, treatment can be effective to control