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What is brain cancer?

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Quick Answer

Brain cancer is a chronic disease that forms as a malignant tumor growth inside the brain tissue, notes MedicineNet. The tumor continues to grow until it is detected and treated with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery. It is common for brain cancer to cause changes to vision, speech and behavior.

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Brain cancer is one of the least common forms of cancer, with approximately 23,000 new cases reported annually, states MedicineNet. It is uncommon for brain cancer to spread from its localized site, however, cancer can enter the brain from a malignant tumor site located elsewhere in the body, such as the lungs or breasts. Cancer that spreads to the brain from elsewhere is known as metastatic brain cancer, and, it occurs more commonly than brain tumors that originate within the brain tissue.

Brain tumors are categorized according the nature of their cellular growth and location within the brain tissue. Some brain cancers are more intrusive than others and can cause debilitating symptoms in a patient, which require aggressive treatments. However, an individual can develop a benign brain tumor that does not contain cancerous cells, explains MedicineNet. These growths are often monitored for changes or surgically removed, according to their location, size and corresponding symptoms.

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