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A brain tumor occurs when cells grow uncontrollably in the brain. Cancer occurs when cells in the body divide without control or order. If cells divide uncontrollably, they form a mass of tissue. The mass is called a growth or tumor. The term cancer usually refers to malignant tumors. These can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not spread. But, it can continue to grow and press structures near it, causing symptoms.
Malignant tumors can be fatal if not treated. The ability to cure a cancer depends on patient and tumor-related features. Patient-related features include:
- Overall health
- Willingness to undergo treatment
Tumor-related features include:
- Type of cancer
- Site of the origin of the cancer
- How advanced the disease is when it is detected
- Tumor’s response to therapy
Brain tumors can be either primary or secondary.
These are tumors which start in the brain or its coverings.
Secondary tumors begin in an organ other than the brain. They travel to the brain, usually through the blood. All secondary tumors are malignant.