Various types of brain cancers / tumors The CNS- central nervous system that consist the spinal cord and the brain is virtually involved in all functions of the body. When a tumor has developed in the spinal cord or brain, there are many vital abilities that could be affected like movement, memory and speech. Running from the lower brain part or the brain stem right into the middle of your back is the spinal cord, which works like one complex messenger service. Important messages are carried by the spinal cord between the brain and other parts of the body. As such, any illness which interferes with the crucial working of the spinal cord and the brain might have widespread effects.

Is the brain tumor malignant or benign?

A benign brain or spinal cord contains no cancer cells. However, this kind of tumor is very dangerous since it continues to enlarge and thereby presses the highly delicate tissues of your spinal cord or brain thus affecting their normal functioning. Surgery can be done for taking the benign tumor out and this might make it not to grow back again. On the other hand, a malignant brain or spinal cord tumor contains cancer cells. These cancerous cells tend to grow rapidly or slowly and may invade the healthy brain tissues around the tumor. Actually, a malignant tumor is life threatening and can spread to other body parts through metastasis.

Primary & metastatic brain tumors

A primary tumor is one that begins in the brain or spinal cord. Primary brain tumors are over 100 different kinds. Some are cured with just little treatment while others won’t even respond to aggressive treatments. A secondary tumor or metastatic is one that grows at one body part and then spreads to others. Some cancers like those of colon, melanoma, lung and breast cancers commonly spread into the brain, but it is rare for brain cancer to spread to other body parts.

Brain cancer in kids

Brain and spinal cord tumors are ranked second after leukemia as the most common types of cancers affecting children. Some genetic conditions make children more susceptible to getting brain tumors such as Li- Fraumeni syndrome, von Hippel- Linday and neurofibromatosis disease. The brain cancer of a child is very different from that of an adult. Besides being found in very different places, their symptoms are different and have a different look when observed under the microscope. The four types of brain tumors affecting children are:

  • Medulloblastomas: the cancer is located at the cerebellum and is treated with chemo, surgery and radiation.
  • Ependymomas: tumors are located in fluid filled cavities known as ventricles in the brain.
  • Brain stem gliomas: This cancer is very rare among adults but common among kids aged between 3 and 10 years.
  • Astrocytomas: these tumors are not cancerous and tend to grow rather slowly and cancer can be used for removing them.