A brain tumour is an abnormal growth of cells inside the skull.
Primary brain tumours grow from the cells or blood vessels in the brain, nerves that emerge from the brain or the membranes covering the brain. They can either be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Benign tumours grow slowly and do not spread to other areas of the body. However, they can still result in severe dysfunction by exerting harmful pressure on adjacent parts of the brain.
Malignant tumours grow rapidly and invade healthy cells in the brain. They tend to spread to adjacent structures and to the spinal column through cerebrospinal fluid.
Secondary brain tumours, also known as metastatic brain tumours, are mostly malignant. They result from cancercells that have spread from another part of the body. For example, breast, lung and colon cancers may spread tothe brain via the bloodstream.
Both primary and secondary brain tumours affect brain function and the nervous system. If left unchecked, theycan cause severe impairment or death.
Patients with symptoms of a possible brain tumour should consult a doctor early for diagnosis and treatment.
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