Brain Cancer: Definition
A brain tumor occurs when cells grow uncontrollably in the brain. Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide without control or order. If cells divide uncontrollably, they form a mass of tissue. The mass is called a growth or tumor. The term cancer usually refers to malignant tumors. These can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not spread. But, it can continue to grow and press structures near it, causing symptoms.
There are two main types of brain tumors:
- Primary brain cancer—This begins in the brain. It can be either malignant or benign. A small benign tumor in a bad location can cause significant problems.
- Secondary or metastatic brain cancer—This has spread to the brain from another site in the body. All metastatic tumors are malignant.
Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
Last reviewedMay 2014by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.