Cancer Information

Brain Tumors

The brain controls the body. Each part of the brain has a role. When you have a tumor, the part of the brain surrounding it may be damaged. Then the brain can’t do its job properly.


A tumor and the surrounding brain structures

What Is a Brain Tumor?

A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cells in the brain. There are many types of brain tumors. They may be primary (starting in the brain) or metastatic (traveling to the brain from another site in the body). All brain tumors are either benign (slow-growing, not cancerous) or malignant (growing quickly, cancerous).

What Causes Symptoms

Along with its location, the way a tumor grows can affect the symptoms you have. A tumor may affect the brain in one or more ways. It may:

  • Destroy normal brain tissue.
  • Compress normal brain tissue.
  • Increase pressure within the brain.
  • Excite brain cells and produce seizures.
  • Cause bleeding in the brain.


Symptoms You May Have

The most common symptoms of brain tumors are:

  • Headaches that may be worse in the morning
  • Trouble thinking, remembering, or talking, or changes in personality
  • Vision problems
  • Seizures or convulsions causing numbness, weakness, or loss of consciousness
  • Paralysis or weakness in one part or on one side of the body
  • Loss of balance or lack of coordination
  • Nausea and vomiting that may be worse in the morning