A brain tumor, or tumour, is an intracranial solid neoplasm, a tumor (defined as an abnormal growth of cells) within the brain or the central spinal canal.
Brain tumors include all tumors inside the cranium or in the central spinal canal. They are created by an abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, usually in the brain itself, but also in lymphatic tissue, in blood vessels, in the cranial nerves, in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary gland, or pineal gland. Within the brain itself, the involved cells may be neurons or glial cells (which include astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and ependymal cells). Brain tumors may also spread from cancers primarily located in other organs (metastatic tumors).
Any brain tumor is inherently serious and life-threatening because of its invasive and infiltrative character in the limited space of the intracranial cavity. However, brain tumors (even malignant ones) are not invariably fatal, especially lipomas which are inherently benign. Brain tumors or intracranial neoplasms can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign); however, the definitions of malignant or benign neoplasms differs from those commonly used in other types of cancerous or non-cancerous neoplasms in the body. Its threat level depends on the combination of factors like the type of tumor, its location, its size and its state of development. Because the brain is well protected by the skull, the early detection of a brain tumor occurs only when diagnostic tools are directed at the intracranial cavity. Usually detection occurs in advanced stages when the presence of the tumor has caused unexplained symptoms.
Primary (true) brain tumors are commonly located in the posterior cranial fossa in children and in the anterior two-thirds of the cerebral hemispheres in adults, although they can affect any part of the brain.
Famous quotes containing the word brain:
“Men should not labor foolishly like brutes, but the brain and the body should always, or as much as possible, work and rest together, and then the work will be of such a kind that when the body is hungry the brain will be hungry also, and the same food will suffice for both; otherwise the food which repairs the waste energy of the overwrought body will oppress the sedentary brain, and the degenerate scholar will come to esteem all food vulgar, and all getting a living drudgery.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)