A brain tumor is any intracranial tumor. Brain tumors are classified as benign, such as meningiomas, and malignant, such as gliomas and metastatic.
What causes a brain tumor?
Brain tumors usually originate from another body part, mainly the breast and the lungs. This type of tumor is called secondary or metastatic. Primary brain tumors develop from the brain cells and their cause remains unknown. However, it has been observed that ionizing radiation increases the risk of tumor development.
Brain tumor symptoms
The most common brain tumor symptoms are:
• Headache, especially during morning hours
• Vision problems
• Muscle weakness of one limb (paresis or plegia)
• Numbness of one side or of the face
• Oral and written speech disorder (aphasia, agraphia, alexia)
Brain tumor diagnosis
A computed tomography (CT scan) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is required for the brain tumor diagnosis.
Depending on the result of the aforementioned exam, sampling through a brain biopsy may be required. Diagnosis is only definite after histological examination of tumor specimens.
Brain tumor treatment
Both primary and secondary (metastatic) tumors are usually treated with surgical removal.
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy are complementary treatment methods that are applied according to the histological type of the tumor.
Stereotactic radiosurgery (Gamma knife and CyberKnife) is one of the most modern treatment methods of malignant brain tumors and it is applied on tumors that meet a number of certain criteria.