Brain and spinal tumors


Brain and spinal cord tumors refer to a mass of abnormal cells in the brain or spinal cord that have either grown out of control into a new one or the growth was there when the person was born. It forms in the tissue inside the brain or spinal cord, that make up for the Central Nervous System.

A growing tumor may not cause any symptoms or can kill or disrupt any bodily functions. A tumor can move and block the flow of blood and other fluids, causing pain. It can also block the normal flow of activity in the brain or signal to and from the brain.

Brain and spinal cord tumors are different in adults and children.

Tumor Symptoms

• A tumor is a mass of abnormal cells that either form into new growth or grow congenitally. Tumors occur when genes are messed up, allowing cells to grow and divide out of control.

• Brain and spinal cord tumors form in the tissue inside your brain or spinal cord, which make up the central nervous system.

• A growing tumor may not cause any symptoms, kill or displace healthy cells, or disrupt their function.

• A tumor can press on sensitive tissue and block the flow of blood and other fluids, causing pain.

• A tumor can also block the normal flow of activity in the brain or signal to and from the brain. Some tumors don't cause any changes.

Causes & Risks of tumors

• Brain and spine tumors can develop due to various factors, and while the exact causes are often unknown, certain risk factors might increase the likelihood of their occurrence.

• Sometimes, genetic mutations or inherited conditions may contribute to an increased risk of brain and spine tumors. Genetic disorders such as tuberous sclerosis, are associated with an elevated risk of tumor development.

• Previous exposure to radiation, either from radiation therapy used to treat other conditions or from environmental sources, can raise the risk of tumors.

• While these tumors can occur at any age, certain types are more common in specific age groups.

• A family history of brain or spine tumors can increase the risk of developing these tumors, especially in cases where there is a history of specific genetic syndromes associated with tumor predisposition.

• Exposure to specific chemicals in the environment can increase the risk of developing brain and spine tumors, although the direct link to specific tumors might vary.

Test & Diagnosis

To get a proper diagnosis of your tumor type, one will need to undergo a biopsy…

• The doctor will check for the type of brain or spinal cord tumor, which in itself is very challenging.

• Some tumors are not clear so ask the primary care doctor for a second opinion from a comprehensive cancer center or the person who is treating the tumor type.

• A second opinion that confirms the original diagnosis can be reassuring and help you prepare for your care from then on.

• A neurological exam can be done in the clinic. It assesses vision, movement, reflexes, sensory skills, hearing and speech, coordination and balance, mental status, and mood changes.


• A Neuro-oncologist, who is a neurologist or oncologist, specialising in tumors of the Central Nervous System.

• A Neurologist – a doctor specialising in Central nervous system disorders alone.

• A Neuroradiologist, who specialises in the CNS and is trained in reading diagnostic imaging results.

• A Pathologist - a clinical doctor who checks for diseases of cells, using laboratory tests.

• A Neurosurgeon is a brain or spinal cord surgeon. Specialised training in the removal of central nervous system tumors may have been completed.

• A radiation oncologist - a doctor who specialises in performing radiation therapy to treat cancer.

Living With

Even putting an effort into living with a brain or spine tumor can be challenging. It can impact many aspects of an individual's life…

Patients may experience limitations in mobility, decreased independence, and challenges in performing routine tasks due to physical impairments.
Physical and memory changes can be caused by the tumor, or treatment and can affect an individual's lifestyle. This eventually can be very challenging. Common symptoms may include headaches, seizures, difficulty with balance and coordination, numbness in limbs, or changes in vision or hearing.

Chemotherapy can certainly cause side effects, and managing them can be an ongoing part of daily life. Engaging in support groups, and maintaining a positive outlook can contribute to willpower to cope with the condition!


• Neurological impairments, caused due to the tumors, can result in headaches, seizures, motor weakness, and impaired cognitive response.

• The tumors can cause an increase in intracranial pressure due to the space-occupying effect within the skull and tumors in the spine can compress the spinal cord or nerve roots, causing pain, and difficulty moving.

• Brain tumors may obstruct the flow of cerebrospinal fluid, leading to accumulation of fluid within the brain. This can cause symptoms such as headaches, vomiting or visual disturbances. • Brain tumors can affect cognitive function, memory, attention, and executive functioning.

• Therapies like surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy can cause side effects, like fatigue, nausea and infections,

• Dealing with tumor can lead to emotional distress, depression, and stress for both the affected individual and their caregivers.
Warning - BNC - Best Neuro Care
The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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