What is a brain tumour?

A brain tumour is a mass of abnormal cells growing in the brain. The cells can come from the brain itself or from its lining (primary brain tumours) or from other places in the body (secondary or metastatic brain tumours). Primary brain tumours can be non-malignant or malignant. Secondary brain tumours are always malignant.

Size doesn’t matter… This is true. The size of a brain tumour doesn’t matter nearly so much as where it is located. A large non-malignant tumour may be easily accessible and therefore easy to remove. A pea-sized tumour that is critically placed may make treatment very difficult.

Treatment and prognosis depend on the tumour type, its location within the brain, whether it has spread, and your child’s age and general health. Treatments are developing and advancing constantly, so several options may be available at different points.

Treatment for brain tumours in children is typically quite different from treatment for adult brain tumours.

What causes a brain tumour?

No one knows. If we did, then we would be able to treat them more effectively, or even prevent them occurring at all. Some genetic disorders may mean that some people are predisposed to getting a brain tumour, and there is a suggestion that some environmental factors may increase the risk. Previous head radiotherapy treatment increases the chance of a brain tumour in the future.


Types of brain tumour?

Brain tumours and other central nervous system (CNS) tumours form the second most common group of cancers in children. There are about 130 different types of tumours that can start in the brain or central nervous system (CNS). Find out more here.

Did this information make you feel more resourced, more confident or more in control?