What is a Brain Tumor?

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A brain tumor is defined as any abnormal or uncontrolled growth of cells in the brain. Tumors can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Both types of brain tumors must be diagnosed and treated quickly. Brain tumors can cause a bewildering array of symptoms depending on their size, type, and location. Certain symptoms are quite specific because they result from damage to particular brain areas. Other, more general symptoms are triggered by increased pressure within the skull as the growing tumor encroaches on the brain’s limited space. Anyone having one or more of these symptoms should see their doctor or neurologist immediately. PLEASE DO NOT WAIT.

Tests normally include an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) or CT Scan (computerized tomographic scan) which looks at the anatomy of the brain internally. Once a tumor is diagnosed, an MRS (Magnetic Resonance Spectrometry) or PET (Positron Emission Tomography) may also be ordered to better understand the tumor’s characteristics. Each patient and tumor is different, so the tests will help the doctor determine the best treatment options for each patient.