A brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain. Many different types of brain tumors exist. Some brain tumors are noncancerous (benign), and some brain tumors are cancerous (malignant). Brain tumors can begin in your brain (primary brain tumors), or cancer can begin in other parts of your body and spread to your brain (secondary, or metastatic, brain tumors).
The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor vary greatly and depend on the brain tumor's size, location and rate of growth. General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include: • New onset or change in pattern of headaches • Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe • Unexplained nausea or vomiting • Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision • Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg • Difficulty with balance • Speech difficulties • Confusion in everyday matters • Personality or behavior changes • Seizures, especially in someone who doesn't have a history of seizures • Hearing problems
Primary brain tumors begin when normal cells acquire errors (mutations) in their DNA. These mutations allow cells to grow and divide at increased rates and to continue living when healthy cells would die. The result is a mass of abnormal cells, which forms a tumor. Secondary brain tumors most often occur in people who have a history of cancer. But in rare cases, a metastatic brain tumor may be the first sign of cancer that began elsewhere in your body.