A brain tumour is a proliferation of brain cells that multiply in an uncommon, uncontrollable way. It can be either cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).
Common symptoms of brain tumours can include severe or persistent headaches, seizures, persistent nausea or vomiting, mental or behavioural changes (e.g. memory problems or personality changes), and progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.
A brain tumour is caused by the increased rate of growth and division of brain cells in an abnormal way. Primary brain tumours originate in the brain, whilst secondary brain tumours are more common and occur when cancer from another region of the body spreads to the brain. Risk factors associated with brain tumours include age, pre-existing genetic disorders, and exposure to radiation.
Surgery aims to remove as much of the abnormal tissue as possible. It’s not always possible to remove the entire brain tumour, so added treatments such as chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy may be needed in order to eradicate any leftover abnormal cells.