Like all tumors, a brain tumor occurs when cells grow and divide without control or order uncontrollably, leading to serious health complications. No one knows what exactly causes brain tumors. There are two types of classification for brain tumors: benign and malignant.

A benign tumor is a tumor that is not cancerous. Unlike other benign tumors, brain tumors that are benign can be life-threatening because of their ability to disrupt or compress structures inside the skull. Because of this potential health risk, treatment of benign brain tumors is critical. Luckily, most benign tumors are treatable. Surgical removal of the tumor, medicinal treatment to reduce swelling or radiation therapy is some of the most common treatment options for patients with benign brain tumors. Because most benign tumors do not grow rapidly, symptoms may take a long time to develop.

Malignant brain tumors are cancerous tumors that can spread to other parts of the brain and the central nervous system. Because brain tumors are hard to catch in early phases of the cancer, malignant brain tumors rarely show symptoms until they are large and can cause severe declines in health.

Consult your primary care doctor or specialist if you exhibit any of the following symptoms:

  • Seizure
  • Significant changes in hearing
  • Changes in vision
  • Problems with memory
  • Sudden or gradual loss of balance