There are more than 40 different types of brain tumors, but there are two groups in neuro-oncology – benign and malignant. Benign tumours grow slowly and are unlikely to spread. Most common types of benign cancers are meningiomas, neuromas and pituitary tumours, as well as craniopharyngiomas. Malignant tumours are cancerous, and they can spread to other parts of the brain or spinal cord. Most known malignant tumours are astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, glioblastomas and mixed gliomas. In this page we will take a look into most known benign brain tumours. It is important to recognise the first signs of a possible brain tumour in order to take an immediate action if needed, therefore we have included a short overview of tumour symptoms, too.
Are you diagnosed with brain tumor?
Cyberknife is a new brain tumour treatment that can be helpful for different types of brain tumours, for example:
Radiosurgery is a method of radiation therapy when CyberKnife device is applied, which allows delivering a large dose of rays very precisely and directly to the tissues affected by the disease without affecting or damaging healthy tissues and cells.
Tumour growth is stopped and/or its cells are destroyed during the procedure. It is important to discover the tumour as soon as possible – when the first signs appear. Symptoms and complaints depend on the tumour localisation in the brain.
Compared to chemo treatment for brain cancer, Cyberknife doesn’t require hospitalization, and there is also no need for a subsequent cure or rehabilitation time. Other advantages also include:
Cyberknife can also be used for other cancers in the lungs, spine, liver, kidneys and prostate. Tumours should be clearly definable and not too big (depending on the organ system).
Acoustic neuroma (AN) is a brain tumour – primary tumour that does not form secondary growths, also known as metastases. Although it does not transform into cancer and is not contagious, it is still a tumour in the brain and if it goes undetected and untreated it can lead to life threatening medical conditions. This mainly affects the nerve fibers of the auditory and vestibular nerve, which establish the connection between the inner ear and the brain.
The most common signs of an acoustic neuroma include:
The rare and non-specific symptoms include:
The symptoms can vary and depend on the size of the tumor and the affected cranial nerve.
Usually there are three approaches – one of them is Cyberknife treatment, which is considered as the best and safest treatment option because it is painless and does not include surgical intervention. Stereotactic radiosurgery uses radiation that is delivered to a precise point or series of points to maximize the amount of radiation delivered to target tissues while minimizing the exposure of normal tissues. It can be delivered as a single dose or as multiple fractionated doses.
Meningioma is a tumor that arises from the meninges — the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord. Technically it is not a brain tumor, but it is included in the category because it may compress or squeeze the adjacent brain, nerves and vessels. Meningioma is the most common type of benign tumor that forms in the head. Most meningiomas grow very slowly, often over many years without causing symptoms. But in some instances, their effects on the brain tissue, nerves or vessels may cause serious disabilties.
Meningiomas usually grow slowly, and can grow rather large in size before interfering with the normal functions of the brain. Signs and symptoms of a meningioma typically occur gradually and may be very subtle at first. The clinical symptoms depend on the localization and related compressions.
Depending on where in the brain or, rarely, spine the tumor is situated, signs and symptoms may include:
Due to their slow growth and adaptability of the brain, meningiomas can achieve a certain size before their symptoms can be noticed.
Radiosurgical treatment with Cyberknife can be used as the primary therapy for small, difficult to remove tumors. In most cases a precise radiotherapy achieves a high tumor control.
Pituitary tumor (pituitary adenoma) starts in the pituitary gland – a small gland inside the skull just below the brain and above the nasal passages, above the back part of the roof of the mouth. The pituitary gland hormones control many other glands in the body. Pituitary tumors are considered benign because they don’t spread to other parts of the body, like cancers can do. Still, even benign pituitary tumors can cause significant health problems because of their near location to the brain and because many of them secrete excess hormones.
Symptoms often depend on whether the tumor is functional (releases excess hormones) or non-functional (does not release excess hormones).
Sometimes, a pituitary tumor may press on or damage parts of the pituitary gland, causing it to stop making one or more hormones. Too little of a certain hormone will affect the work of the gland or organ that the hormone controls. The following signs and symptoms may occur:
When a functioning pituitary tumor makes extra hormones, the signs and symptoms will depend on the type of hormone being secreted.
Too much prolactin (a hormone that causes a woman’s breasts to make milk during and after pregnancy) may cause:
Too much ACTH (hormone that causes the adrenal glands to make hormone cortisol – controls the use of sugar, protein, fats, helps body deal with stress) may cause:
Too much growth hormone (controls body growth) may cause:
Too much thyroid-stimulating hormone (body temperature, heart rate control) may cause: