Brain cancer can occur when cancer cells develop and grow to form a mass, or tumor, in the brain tissue, or when cancer spreads to the brain from other areas of the body. Primary brain tumors – those that begin in the brain – occur rarely, accounting for only about 1.4% of all new cancer cases in the US each year. Secondary or metastatic brain tumors – those that occur when cancer spreads from another are of the body – are more common.
Not all brain tumors are made up of cancer cells. Those that are made up of cancer cells are called malignant tumors, and those that are made up of noncancerous cells are called benign tumors. Both types of tumors can cause symptoms as they grow and press on areas of the brain. These symptoms can include:
- Difficulty walking, dizziness or vertigo
- Persistent or severe headaches
- Muscle weakness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Changes in speech or personality
- Memory problems, confusion or hallucinations
Unlike some other cancers, the causes of both primary and metastatic brain tumors are not fully understood. Although they are more common in children and older adults, people of any age can develop a brain tumor. Men are more likely than women to develop a brain tumor, but some specific types of train tumors are more common in women. Exposure to solvents, pesticides, oil products, rubber or vinyl chloride may increase the risk of developing a brain tumor, but there is no scientific evidence yet to support this possible link.
Choosing the right team to treat brain cancer is important, especially in cases where brain cancer occurs in conjunction with cancer elsewhere in the body. To schedule an appointment with one of our specialists, call (440) 205-5755.
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Fundraising efforts throughout the year help LH/UH Seidman Cancer Center continue to carry out our mission to provide world-class cancer care and oncology services to residents within driving distance of Mentor and Lake County.