A brain tumor is really scary, but at least not all tumors are dangerous. Most tumors will either present with increasing pressure in the brain, associated headache and vomiting, or epileptic seizures. So if you experience headaches that don’t go away and they seem to be coupled with vomits or any weakness in the body, don’t ignore them, go to a doctor for further investigation. In addition, some tumors may show signs of pain in one or both limbs or having decreased vision or hearing loss due to the position of the tumor. To diagnose a brain tumor a contrast MRI of the brain is performed, which is typically sufficient for diagnosis. However there are times when other tests like PET scans or angiograms need to take place after diagnosis. Brain tumours are malignant (cancerous) and benign (non-cancerous).
Malignant tumours are perhaps more common than benign. For example, glioblastoma multiforme (grade IV tumour) is the most typical brain tumour and one of the most malignant tumours in the body, with average survival being 1-2 years.
Benign brain tumours are almost always located outside the brain and will only compress on it. If extracted, benign tumours do not come back but still need long term monitoring to ensure that they don’t recur. However, if any tumour stays in the brain, then a nearby follow-up is necessary and surgery may be necessary to control it. But if benign tumours are harvested early when they are still small, then many can be treated by stereotactic radiosurgery which is like a single-day treatment. Examples of common benign tumours are pituitary, meningioma, acoustic, and craniopharyngiomas.