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 reviewedJune 2013by Mohei Abouzied, MD; Michael Woods, 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.