A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of a group of cells in the brain. This abnormal growth causes the failure of brain function in the specific area in which it develops and inflames the brain around it.
When a brain tumor appears, it is because a group of cells undergoes changes in their genes that produce an excessive and atypical growth, which causes them to occupy a new space in the brain, displacing, destroying or occupying a part of the brain that does not correspond to it.
Types of brain tumor
There are different types of brain tumor, although the main ones are astrocytoma and glioma. These types of tumors, according to neurosurgery experts, arise from the structural cells of the brain and, depending on their ability to destroy cells or grow atypical blood vessels, they are given a greater or lesser degree of malignancy.
There are other types of tumors, such as meningiomas, which are not of the brain type, they are of its coverings or other non-brain structures but which grow in the cranial cavity, thus damaging the brain by compression, irritation or blockage of the cerebrospinal fluid circulation. Most of these tumors are benign in origin, but the fact that they grow in a closed cavity and thus increase intracranial pressure makes them potentially malignant tumors.
Another type of brain tumor occurs when metastases develop from malignant tumors in other parts of the body and implant in the brain, growing rapidly and behaving aggressively.
Most types of brain tumors have no known cause. There are no clear risk factors, except in very specific cases such as previous radiotherapy, hormonal treatments and metastasis, among others. There are also very specific subtypes of genetic or embryonal origin.
Brain tumor: diagnosis
The basic diagnosis of a brain tumor can be made with a cranial CT scan. However, in order to choose the appropriate treatment it is essential to have a good quality MRI.
Subsequently, it must be subtyped by taking a biopsy sample or, if possible, by surgical removal and specific pathological examination.