Brain Cancer News

The brain can develop cancer in a few different ways. Cancer that actually begins in the cells of the brain is typically referred to as a primary brain tumor. Cancer can also spread to the brain cells from other parts of the body. When this occurs, it's known as metastatic cancer.

Primary brain tumors usually derive their name from the part of the brain that they infect. For example, an astrocytoma affects brain cells called astrocytes, and a meningioma develops in the meninges portion of the brain. Medulloblastoma, ependymoma and brain stem glioma are other examples of the many different types of brain tumors that can develop.


Symptoms of a brain tumor can often mimic other conditions and may be difficult to identify as brain cancer. Some possibilities for brain cancer symptoms include headache, seizures, vision or hearing loss, difficulty with speech, changes in behavior or even stroke. Because these symptoms frequently overlap with other neurological disorders, a brain scan is usually required to determine the presence of a tumor. A biopsy, in which a sample of tissue is taken in order to look for tumors, is also frequently required to determine the presence of cancer, though sometimes this biopsy is performed at the same time as the treatment of the cancer to minimize the invasiveness of the procedure.

Treatment of Brain Cancer

Possible treatments for brain tumors vary quite a bit based on the size and location of the tumor in the brain, as well as the person's overall health and risk factors. Usually, however, the first step is removal of the tumor, usually through some type of surgical procedure. After that, chemotherapy, radiation therapy or a combination of the two treatments are used to eradicate the cancer from surrounding tissue and hopefully prevent its recurrence.

SOURCES: U.S. National Cancer Institute; National Brain Tumor Society.

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1 in 4 kids who lived through cancer developed another cancer by age 45, study finds

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Study found significant increase in survival 2 years after diagnosis

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Still, more progress is needed and racial disparities remain, U.S. report finds

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Taking triple the daily recommendation didn't lower risk in older women, but larger trials are underway

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Researchers find no evidence of cytomegalovirus in tumor tissue

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International committee finds thinner folks less likely to develop variety of malignancies

Education and Brain Tumor Risk

Higher levels of education linked to increased risk of brain tumor in new study.

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But perhaps it's because they just pay more attention to their health, experts say

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Although larger procedure carries more risk, odds of longer survival are higher, researchers say

Novel Brain Cancer Treatment Taps Into Sound Waves

Experimental device seems to help more chemotherapy reach tumors, researchers report

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Injectable virus appears to extend lives of glioblastoma patients

NIH Experts Cast Doubt on Rat Study Linking Cellphones, Tumors

Rodents exposed to phone radiation actually lived longer than unexposed animals, reviewers point out

Researchers Find 8 Immune Genes in Aggressive Brain Cancer

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Could Canine Research Offer Clues to Human Brain Cancer?

Scientists identify three genes thought to raise risk for glioma tumors

Chemo May Prolong Lives of Some Brain Cancer Patients: Study

Those with slow-growing gliomas lived five years longer, on average, than those who got only radiation

New Cooling Technique Might Aid Brain Surgery: Study

Combined with verbal checks, it allowed surgeons to protect areas where speech occurs

Laser Unlocks Blood-Brain Barrier for Chemotherapy, Study Shows

Cancer-fighting drugs were able to reach tumors, but the technique still in preliminary stage

Brain Cancers Both Common and Deadly Among Teens, Young Adults: Report

But types of tumors start to vary as people age, researchers add

Allergies, Asthma Tied to Lower Risk of Brain Cancer

Researchers found 30 percent lower odds for those with respiratory allergies and eczema

Newer Treatment May Be Easier on Children With Brain Tumors

Study finds fewer long-term side effects from proton radiotherapy

Electromagnetic Waves May Help Fight Deadly Brain Cancer

Study found using it alongside follow-up chemo prolonged survival by about five months

Jimmy Carter's Recovery Highlights Power of New Cancer Treatments

Specialized radiation, immunotherapy drug have removed signs of lesions on former president's brain

Childhood Cancer Survivors May Suffer Physically, Mentally Decades Later

Long-term effects of powerful treatments merit further study, experts say