Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer—Adult


A brain tumor is the presence of cancer cells in the brain. There are 2 main types of brain tumors:
  • Primary—A tumor that arises in the brain. It can be either malignant or benign. A small benign tumor in a bad location can cause significant problems.
  • Secondary—A tumor that spreads to the brain from another cancerous site in the body. All secondary tumors are malignant and metastatic.
Brain Tumor
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.


Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide without control or order. If cells divide uncontrollably, they form a mass of tissue. The mass is called a growth or tumor. The term cancer usually refers to malignant tumors. These can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not spread. But, it can continue to grow and press structures near it, causing symptoms.The cause of most primary brain tumors is unknown, but it is probably a combination of genetics and environment. Secondary brain tumors are caused by cancer that spreads to the brain from another site in the body.

Risk Factors

Factors that increase your chance of a brain tumor include:
  • Radiation
  • A condition that affects the immune system
  • Family history of certain types of cancer
Any cancer in the body can spread to the brain. The most common tumors that may spread to the brain include:


Symptoms depend on the tumor's size and location. A growing tumor will often have fluid build-up around it. This is called edema. Edema puts pressure on the brain. Symptoms may develop gradually or rapidly. Symptoms may include:
  • Headache—Most headaches are not caused by brain tumors. Headaches due to brain tumors may have the following features:
    • Worsens over a period of weeks to months
    • Worse in the morning or causes you to wake during the night
    • Different than a normal headache
    • Worsens with change of posture, straining, or coughing
  • Seizures
  • Nausea or vomiting, especially early morning vomiting
  • Weakness in arms and/or legs
  • Loss of sensation in arms and/or legs
  • Difficulty walking
  • Hearing loss or vision loss, including double vision
  • Speech problems
  • Drowsiness
  • Memory problems
  • Personality changes

leave comments
Did you like this? Share with your family and friends.
Related Topics:
Current Research From Top Journals

Music May Improve Sleep Quality in Adults with Insomnia
October 2015

Insomnia can make your days miserable and a cure can be hard to find. There are some medications but there is some worry with side effects and the potential for addiction. Music is side effect free and according to this study may help you find sleep.

dot separator
previous editions

CPAP May Help Older Adults with Obstructive Sleep Apnea
September 2015

Water Before Meals May Promote Weight Loss
August 2015

Fecal Transplants Induce Ulcerative Colitis Remission
July 2015

dashed separator


Our Free Newsletter
click here to see all of our uplifting newsletters »