What Is a Brain Tumor?


Quick Answer

A brain tumor is tissue mass that is formed by abnormal cells, defines WebMD. Tumors do not die like normal cells do. Brain tumors can be both noncancerous or malignant. Cancerous brain tumors grow faster than noncancerous ones, and they attack surrounding tissue.

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What Is a Brain Tumor?
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Full Answer

Noncancerous tumors are easier to remove than malignant ones and are not typically considered to be life-threatening, explains WebMD. Cancerous brain tumors put pressure on the under, around and inside the skull and cause inflammation in the brain. Brain tumor symptoms vary, but headaches are a common symptom. Other brain tumor symptoms include seizures, balance problems, personality changes, vision and speech issues, and difficulty concentrating.

A physical exam that includes neurological exams such as an MRI or angiogram is required to diagnose a brain tumor, states WebMD. A biopsy may also be performed to determine if the tumor is cancerous. Surgery is typically used to remove a brain tumor, and chemotherapy and radiation therapy are used to shrink tumors that cannot be removed. Gamma Knife therapy is also used to treat tumors that are difficult to reach or located deep in the brain. Rehabilitation is necessary after brain tumor treatment to perform daily activities, regain balance, increase strength, and remedy speech and cognitive issues.

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