Monday, August 2, 2010

Difference between a primary brain tumor and a metastatic (secondary) brain tumor

Primary brain tumors originate in the brain itself. Primary brain tumors do not spread from the brain to other parts of the body except in rare cases. Pathologists classify primary brain tumors into two groups: glial tumors (gliomas) and nonglial tumors. Gliomas are composed of glial cells, which include astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells, Schwann cells, microglia, and satellite cells. Nonglial tumors develop on or in structures within the brain, such as nerves, blood vessels, and glands.

Metastatic or secondary brain tumors begin as cancer in another part of the body. Some of the cancer cells may be carried to the brain by the blood or may spread from adjacent tissue. The site where the cancerous cells originated is referred to as the primary cancer. Metastatic brain tumors are often referred to as brain metastases or lesions. Metastatic brain tumors are the most common brain tumors. Because people are surviving primary cancers for longer periods of time, there has been an increase in metastatic lesions.

Dr.Sanjay Mongia

Symptoms of Brain Tumors in Children

Some of the general symptoms of brain tumors in children are headaches; vomiting (usually in the morning and without nausea); unsteadiness or loss of balance; seizures; double vision or vision problems; decreased coordination; fatigue or sleepiness; weakness on one side of the body; increased size of the head; uncontrolled eye movements; irritability; and behavioral changes.

Symptoms are often vague in children, especially in very young children who are not able to fully describe their symptoms. Some of these symptoms can occur with a variety of more common childhood illnesses. The difference with brain tumors is that these symptoms persist and get worse over time. If your child is experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see Dr.Sanjay Mongia and get a definitive diagnosis.

Pediatric brain tumors are not contagious. Their causes are unknown

Symptoms of Brain Tumors

The most common symptoms include headaches, which can be most severe in the morning; nausea or vomiting, which can be most severe in the morning; seizures or convulsions; difficulty thinking, speaking, or finding words; personality changes; weakness or paralysis in one part or one side of the body; loss of balance; vision changes; confusion and disorientation; and memory loss. Different parts of the brain control different functions, so symptoms will vary depending on the tumor’s location.

While these are the most common symptoms of a brain tumor, they can also indicate other medical problems. If you are having any of these symptoms, it is important to see Dr.Sanjay Mongia and get a definitive diagnosis.

Brain Tumor Website

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Dr.Sanjay Mongia