Brain tumor refers to a diverse collection of cancers arising from different cells either within the brain (primary tumors) or from systemic tumors that have metastasized to the brain. Brain tumors account for approximately 2% of all cancers, and the overall average annual age adjusted incidence rate for 2007 to 2011 for primary brain and CNS tumors was 21.42 per 100,000. Brain and CNS tumors are the most common groups of cancers among children. Metastasis occurs at some point in 10% – 15% of people with cancer and is the most common type of tumor in the brain.
Neurologic signs and symptoms of the brain tumors are produced by the tumor mass, the adjacent brain edema and the injury of normal tissue caused by tumor infiltration; these signs and symptoms are categorized as either generalized or focal.
General warning signs and symptoms caused by Brain Tumors may include:
- New onset or change in pattern of headaches.
- Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe.
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting.
- Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision.
- Headache occurs in approximately 50% of patients with brain tumors. The headaches usually are dull and characteristically more perceptible in the morning, tending to decrease later in the day.
- New onset seizure either focal or generalized occurs usually in association with brain tumors. It occurs in approximately 30% of patients with any type of brain tumor; thus patients often are prophylactically managed with antiepileptic drugs (AEDs).
- Focal signs and symptoms consist of weakness of limb or face or speech disturbances and are generally gradual in onset, in contrast to signs and symptoms seen with vascular events.
- Personality and mood changes also occurs due to growth or precursor symptoms of brain tumor.