Brain tumor – primary – adults

Alternative Names

Glioblastoma multiforme – adults; Ependymoma – adults; Glioma – adults; Astrocytoma – adults; Medulloblastoma – adults; Neuroglioma – adults; Oligodendroglioma – adults; Meningioma – adults; Cancer – brain tumor (adults)

Definition of Brain tumor – primary – adults

A primary brain tumor is a group (mass) of abnormal cells that start in the brain. This article focuses on primary brain tumors in adults.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Primary brain tumors include any tumor that starts in the brain. Primary brain tumors can arise from the brain cells, the membranes around the brain (meninges), nerves, or glands.

Symptoms

A doctor can often identify signs and symptoms that are specific to the tumor location. Some tumors may not cause symptoms until they are very large. Then they can lead to a rapid decline in the person’s health. Other tumors have symptoms that develop slowly.

Signs and tests

Most brain tumors and compress brain tissue because of their size and weight.

Treatment

Treatment can involve surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Brain tumors are best treated by a team involving a neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, oncologist, or neuro-oncologist, and other health care providers, such as neurologists and social workers.

Review

Todd Gersten, M.D., Hematology/Oncology, Palm Beach Cancer Institute, West Palm Beach, FL. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/23/2010

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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