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Last Updated: May 31, 2022

What Are The Different Types Of Brain Tumours?

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Dr. Sankalp MohanNeurologist • 15 Years Exp.MBBS, MD - Internal Medicine, Fellow In Pain Management, DM - Neurology
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When abnormal cells grow inside the brain and are in the form of a mass the condition is called a brain tumour. There are various types of brain tumours that exist. Some of the brain tumours which exist are malignant or cancerous while other may be non-cancerous.  a brain tumour can begin in any part of the brain and spread to other parts of the body or vice-versa. The growth rate of brain tumours is different for each individual suffering from it. As per studies, every 2 in 1,00,000 people are said to be affected by a brain tumour in India. However, it may come as a relief to some as not all brain tumours are cancerous or life-threatening. Some are benign tumours and seldom pose any threat to the affected individual.

Types of Brain Tumor

Brain tumours may be primary or secondary.

Primary brain tumour

In this type of brain tumour, the abnormal mass of cells that originated in the brain does not metastasize to the other organs. Based on their location in the brain, the primary brain tumours may be of the following types.

  • Gliomas: One of the most common types of primary brain tumours, gliomas can have their origin in the spinal cord or the brain. Some of the common types of gliomas include Astrocytomas (originates in the cerebrum of the brain), Glioblastomas (these tumours form from the Astrocytes which form the supportive tissues of the brain), Ependymoma (these develop from the ependymal cells which are present within the CNS), Oligodendrogliomas (these tumours are found to arise from the oligodendrocytes).

  • Schwannomas: Also called Acoustic neuromas, these primary brain tumours form on the nerves that play an important role in regulating the balance and hearing from the inner ear to the brain.

  • Meningiomas: These types of tumours are usually benign and have their origin in the meninges (membranes surrounding the spinal cord and the brain).

  • Primitive neuroectodermal tumours (PNETs): Primitive neuroectodermal tumours (PNETs) are rare malignant tumours that originate from the fetal (embryonic) cells in the brain.

  • Pituitary adenomas: As the name suggests, these tumours arise from the pituitary gland located at the base of the brain.

  • Medulloblastomas: Common among children, these malignant primary tumours develop in the brain (lower back) and gradually spread via the spinal fluid.

Other types of primary brain tumours include Craniopharyngiomas and Germ cell tumours.

Secondary brain tumours 

Unlike the primary brain tumours, these tumours have their origin in the other body parts and organs (mostly in the lungs, skin, colon, breast, and kidney) and then gradually metastasize to the brain. Secondary brain tumours are found to be more common.




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