A brain tumour is an abnormal growth of cells/tissue within the brain or the skull vault. It is created by an unusual and uncontrolled cell division, usually in the brain itself, but also sometimes in the lymphatic tissue, blood vessels, cranial nerves, brain meninges (skinny layer of tissue covering the spinal cord and brain), the skull, pituitary gland, or pineal gland and from congenital vest cells.
There are many types of brain tumours, combined they fit into one of the following categories:
- Benign Tumour: It is non-cancerous in nature. A benign tumour must be evaluated closely to determine whether it is close to vital structures such as blood vessels, nerves or the brain stem.
- Malignant Tumour: It is cancerous in nature. It is important to determine if a malignant tumour is primary or metastatic in nature. The tumour’s size, type and location is important in planning the optimal treatment.
- Metastatic Tumour: A malignant brain tumour that is caused by the spread of cancer cells from another area of the body is a metastatic tumour. The original source (primary site) of metastatic brain tumours is often the lung, breast, kidney, colon or metastatic melanoma. Metastatic brain tumours may cause symptoms in some patients before the primary site is diagnosed. The primary source of the metastatic tumour is possible to be determined in approximately 90% of the patients.