Patient Education > Brain Tumors
Common brain tumor symptoms include:
- Headaches (especially if present when awakening)
- Weakness (especially on one side of the body)
- Cognitive or personality changes
- Visual changes
- Nausea or vomiting
Brain Tumor types
Malignant Brain Tumors
“Primary” Brain Tumors (start in the brain):
- Glioblastoma Multiforme (grade IV / “high grade”)
- Anaplastic Astrocytoma or Oligodendroglioma (grade III / “medium grade”)
- Astrocytoma or Oligodendroglioma (grade II /“low grade”)
- Ependymoma, Medulloblastoma, Primary CNS Lymphoma
“Secondary” or Metastatic Brain Tumors
(spread from elsewhere):
- Lung Cancer
- Breast Cancer
- Also Kidney, Malignant Melanoma or Colon Cancer
- Rarely if ever… Prostate, Uterine, nonmelanoma skin cancers
“Benign” Brain Tumors
- Acoustic Neuroma
- History and neurologic examination
- Brain Scans: CT, MRI - MR Spectroscopy, Occasionally PET scans
- Inherited/Genetic syndromes (5%)
- Previous Radiation
- Serious Head Trauma (meningiomas)
- Chemicals (petrochemicals), pesticides
- Very doubtful: cell phones
- Surgery – biopsy, removal
- Radiation – whole brain, involved areas
- Chemotherapy - Temozolomide, BCNU, PCV, Gliadel (chemotherapy wafers)
- Experimental therapy - Gene therapy, vaccines, immunotherapy, stem cells, angiogenesis
- Symptom management - Steroids (Decadron) for brain swelling, Seizure medicines, Rehab – Inpatient, Physical/Occupational/ Speech Therapy
Important Brain Tumor Facts
- Each year 190,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor.
- Metastatic brain tumors occur at some point in 10% to 15% of people with cancer and are the most common type of brain tumor.
- Primary brain tumors rarely, if ever, spread to other parts of the body.
Dr. Jon Olson at The NeuroMedical Center is our “brain tumor expert” and the only fellowship trained neuro-oncologist in Baton Rouge.
The NeuroMedical Center offers this information as a courtesy service. Please remember that medical knowledge is always evolving and we cannot represent that any of our information is absolutely current. Please consult a physician before taking any medical action based on information gathered from this or any website.