Our brains are the seat of all we are. Every thought and action we perform is an output of our brain. So understandably the thought of an affliction striking the brain can be terrifying.
Brain cancer is a rare but devastating form of cancer accounting for 2% of all cancer cases worldwide. Brain cancer refers to the abnormal growth and division of cells within the brain. Brain tumours can be either benign or cancerous and cancerous brain tumours are further split into primary brain tumours that start in the brain and secondary tumours that start elsewhere in the body and spread (metastasize) to the brain.
Whether benign or a malignant tumour can increase the volume of the brain which creates pressure in the tight skull space. The bony skull is extremely hard and rigid. Any encroachment in this tight space increases intracranial pressure which can lead to brain damage, coma, and even death.
Types Of Brain Tumours
The first major classification of types of brain tumours is benign and malignant tumours. Benign brain tumours are the least aggressive and slowest growing tumours. They do not have cancerous cells and have a good prognosis after treatment.
Malignant or cancerous brain tumours arise from brain cells, supportive cells, and other tissue found in and around the brain. These are high-grade tumours. Grading for tumours involves rating a growth on a scale of 1 to 4 with low-grade scores being 1 and 2, and 3 and 4 are high grade. Benign tumours are low grade which is slow growing, contained, less likely to spread, and unlikely to return after removal. On the other hand, malignant or cancerous tumours are high grade which means they are fast growing, spread to surrounding tissues, and are more likely to return after removal.
Cancerous tumours are further divided into primary and secondary tumours.
Primary cancerous tumours originate within the brain itself while secondary tumours are a result of metastasis from tumours in other organ systems, commonly from the lungs.
Primary tumours are rarer and the most common types of primary brain tumours are gliomas and meningiomas. Gliomas affect the glial cells which are supportive cells in the brain that provide nourishment and structural support to neurons. Gliomas account for 50% of all primary brain tumours.
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