brain tumor

Brain Tumor, Early Signs, Risk Factors and Remedial Measures

Dr. Kapil Kumar
15 Nov 2018
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Brain tumor is a collection of abnormal cells, caused when brain cells grow in an uncontrolled manner. Brain tumors can be cancerous and non-cancerous. Learn more about types, early symptoms, diagnosis and treatments available for brain cancer.

When brain cells divide and grow in an uncontrollable manner, they accumulate unhealthy cells over time and form a high grade or low-grade tumor in the brain. Brain is one of the most important and sensitive organ in our body, growth of any external body or damage done to it can pose a serious risk to the overall health of a person. Brain tumor can be both cancerous known as malignant and non-cancerous known as benign. If any of the cancerous or non-cancerous tumors grows inside the brain, it can cause heavy pressure inside the brain resulting into brain damage. It can be life threatening and there are different types of risk/symptoms associated with it. However, a number of diagnosis and treatment are available.

Types of Brain Tumors

The different types of brain tumors can include the following:

  • Benign Brain Tumors

Benign brain tumors are tumors, which do not contain any cancer cells. This type of tumor is less aggressive as compared to malignant tumors. These tumors grow very slowly; they do not spread easily into other tissue neither poses a serious threat to the patients suffering from it. Benign Tumors can be removed surgically but they can grow back after some time. However, these tumors can cause serious health problems because they can press on sensitive areas of the brain.

  • Malignant Brain Tumors

Malignant Brain Tumors are cancerous in nature and they grow more rapidly as compared to Benign Tumors. They are more dangerous for a human body as their growth rate is not definite. Malignant brain tumors are the severe type of brain tumors and spread to the surrounding areas in the brain in severe cases but it is noted that brain tumors do not spread away from brain to other parts of the body such as spinal cord.

Primary and Secondary Brain Tumors

Primary type:

The primary brain tumors are the basic type of brain tumors and they are the ones, which originate in the brain. Gliomas and meningiomas are one of the common types of primary brain tumor. Gliomas are tumors, which originate from glial cell, the cell that support the structure of the central nervous system. Meningiomas another type of primary brain tumor occur among people under the age group of 40-70years. They are more common in women, these tumors are benign and very aggressive and they can cause serious complications because of their size and location. 

Primary brain tumors are mainly associated with the following:

  •  Nerve and brain cells
  •  Meninges, the membrane that surrounds your brain
  •  Glands

Other type of primary brain tumors includes the following:

  • Pineal gland tumors
  • Pituitary tumors 
  • Craniopharyngiomas
  • Ependymomas
  • Primary germ cell tumors of the brain
  • Primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Schwannomas, which originate in cells called schwann cells

Secondary type: 

Secondary type of brain tumor are the tumor from other parts of the body such as skin, breast and lungs, they reach the brain and cause cancerous conditions or tumor. They make up the majority of brain cancers, they are always malignant and do not spread easily from one part of your body to another.

They are mainly associated with the following:

Risk Factors Related to Tumor

Although the cause of the brain tumor is not definite, but there are certain risk factors which are related to brain tumor. Given below are some of the prominent risk factors, which need to be focused on while considering the occurrence and treatment of brain tumor.

  • Family history

  According to the latest research, only 5 to 10 % of all the cancers are genetically inherited or hereditary. If the brain tumor was prevalent earlier among the family members, then there is a high chance that any of the family member to develop the same symptoms later.

  • Age

Age plays an important role as most types of Brain Tumors gradually increase with the increasing age. The older the person, the greater risk the tumor poses.

  • Race

Tumors are most common among the Afro - American people. According to recent research, it has been found that residents in the northern part of Europe are more likely to suffer from brain tumors than those residing in Japan. 

  • Severe head injuries

If a person had a severe head injury in the past, then there are high chances for that person to suffer from brain tumor.  

  • Exposure to Chemicals and Radiations 

People who have more exposure to ionized radiation have greater chances of developing brain tumors such as gliomas and meningiomas.

  • No history of chickenpox

People with no history of childhood chicken pox have increase chances of developing a brain cancer as compared to those who had childhood chickenpox.

Early Symptoms of a Brain Tumor

Some of the symptoms of brain tumor can include the following:

1. Severe headaches, which is quite unbearable at times

2. Blurred vision and other visionary issues

3. Dizziness, Fatigue and Seizures

4. Short term memory related issues

5. Speech imbalance

6. Vomiting, seizures, confusion

7. Uncontrollable movements

8. Difficulty in walking

9. Muscle weakness around the face, arms and legs

 Diagnosis of Brain Tumor

Patients are required to undergo a neurological examination with the neurosurgeon first and then further exams like a CT Scan ,MRI Scan ,EEG are conducted by the  doctor in order to reach a specific conclusion. A Neurologic Examination is conducted where the doctor checks the alertness, activity co-ordination as well as hearing and speech abilities of the patient. This is followed by major tests, which includes CT scan, MRI, and Angiogram along with other advanced diagnostic procedures such as Biopsy and Spinal Tap.

 Treatments for Brain Tumor 

If there is any type of positive signs, which indicate the presence of brain tumor, then the team of doctors and medical specialists plan the treatment accordingly.
While planning the treatment of the brain tumor, patient is monitored and given treatment based on the following:

  • Age of the patient
  • Type and Grade of the brain tumor
  • Size of the brain tumor
  • Overall health of the patient
  • Medical History of the patient

Different Types of Treatment of Brain Tumor 

The different kind of treatment available for brain tumor includes the following:


Surgical technique is considered as the first treatment solution for the patients with brain cancer. Surgery can remove the cancer cells without causing any damage to the surrounding areas of the brain. Nowadays, surgery is usually combined with other treatments like chemotherapy and radiation therapy for more effective results.

Radiation Therapy

Patients suffering from brain tumor cannot be always treated with surgery in case the tumor is present in other parts of the brain like the brain stem. Here, the doctor advises the patient to undergo radiation therapy, as it will not harm the healthy cells present around the tumor cells. There are different types of radiation therapy among which external radiation therapy is the most common type. Apart from this, there are other types of radiation therapies, which include Proton beam type, internal radiation type and Stereo-tactic type of radiation therapy.



Chemotherapy is one of the most common procedures for treating brain tumors. Chemotherapy involves prescribing drugs to the patients in the intravenous form where the drugs are injected directly into the bloodstream. Surgeons also utilize wafers, which are implanted into the brain. These wafers are capable of dissolving in the brain while releasing drugs into the brain completing the treatment of chemotherapy.


Thus, brain tumor can be efficiently treated if it is diagnosed at an early stage. It is essential that patients get counseling if they have brain cancer so that they remain positive and patient to derive the desired results.  
We hope this article was helpful in explaining about brain cancer. If you want to stay updated for more cancer related articles, you can follow Elacancer blog or call us at +91-8929020600



Dr. Kapil Kumar

About the Author

Surgical Oncologist
Dr. Kapil Kumar is an Oncologist and cancer specialist practicing at BLK Hospital in Rajendra Place, Delhi. He specializes in Breast cancer, Oncoplastic surgery, Upper G.I. Onco surgery, Pancreatic Biliary surgery, and Thoracic surgery including Esophagus cancer. He has completed his MBBS from Amritsar Government Medical College and Hospital. Further, he pursued MS from Amritsar Government Medical College and Hospital. Dr. Kapil is a member of Indian Society of Oncology (I.S.O.) and International Society of Diseases of Esophagus. He is also a member of Delhi Medical Association (D.M.A.). He got Dhanvantari award from Cholay 1 Foundation for Onco- Surgery work. He has worked in various hospitals as Senior Consultant Oncologist. Dr. Kapil has an experience of more than two and a half decade in this field. BLK Hospital is JCI, NABH and NABL accredited. It is one of the most successful and largest private sector hospitals situated in Delhi. Book appointment with Dr. Kapil Kumar at
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1 Comment

Poornachandra Yalamanchilli
Nov. 15, 2018, 7:40 p.m.
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