A brain tumor is an abnormal mass or growth of cells in the brain’s tissues. There are many types of brain tumors, and each one is specific to the individual.
The rate at which a brain tumor grows can vary greatly, as can its location. The growth rate and the location of the tumor will together determine the effects it will have on the patient.
Treatment options are dictated by the type of tumor, its size, and its location.
Symptoms of a Brain Tumor
There are a number of symptoms that can indicate a brain tumor, including the following:
- Frequent, severe headaches that become worse and worse
- Partial blindness, temporary blindness, or double vision
- A feeling that you are “losing it”
- Loss of motor control in an arm or leg
- Issues with balance
- Difficulty speaking
- Problems with staying in the lines of the road while driving
- Dramatic changes in personality
- Confusion when doing routine tasks
Physicians understand what parts of the brain control what parts of the body. The section of the brain that is affected by a tumor will likely cause symptoms in the region of the body controlled by that section. Interestingly, a tumor in the left hemisphere of the brain will affect the right side of the body, and vice versa.
When Should I See a Neurosurgeon?
Don’t delay in seeing a doctor about any of the symptoms listed above. Each of these symptoms can also indicate other health issues, so a doctor must perform a full evaluation in order to determine the proper diagnosis.
Some tumors start out as benign and can become malignant if left untreated, so it is incredibly important to see a skilled neurosurgeon for possible treatment. Delaying medical treatment could enable the tumor to spread to other portions of the brain, resulting in further difficulties.
Types of Brain Tumors
There are many types of primary brain tumors, and each is named for the type of cells which they involve. Some of the most common types of primary brain cancer are:
- Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM; sometimes just called “glioblastoma”)
- Pituitary tumor
Metastatic brain tumors are far more common than primary brain tumors. The most common types of these secondary brain tumors develop from metastatic breast cancer, colon cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, or melanoma (a type of malignant skin cancer).
If a person dies because their cancer metastasized to the brain, it is not considered brain cancer. It will rather be defined by the organ or tissue from which the cancer originated.
A brain tumor may be either benign (nonlethal) or malignant (lethal). Brain tumors are classified by grade, not by stage as most other cancers are. The grade is based on the complexity of the tumor.
A brain tumor is either primary or metastatic. A primary brain tumor is when the tumor cells actually developed in the brain. A metastatic (sometimes called “secondary”) tumor started elsewhere in the body and spread to the brain.
Brain Surgeons in Colorado Springs
Because the brain is such a complex and important organ, any surgery on it carries risks. However, many people have undergone successful brain tumor resection surgery.
Our board-certified neurosurgeons here at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery have many years of experience performing successful brain tumor surgeries.
Contact us today by calling (303) 790-1800 or request an appointment online now, and trust your brain only to the best.