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Brain Tumor

Brain tumors are classified depending on the exact site of the tumor.

Gliomas
come from glial cells such as astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, and ependymal cells.

Three Types

  • Astrocytic tumors
  • Oligodendroglial tumors
  • Glioblastomas (most aggressive type)

Meningiomas
Occur most commonly between the ages of 40 – 70
Are much more common in women
Are usually (90% of the time) benign.

Manifestations:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures (especially in older adults)
  • Weakness in one part of the body
  • Changes in the person’s mental functions

Headaches caused by brain tumors may:

  • Be worse when the person wakes up in the morning, and clear up in a few hours
  • Occur during sleep
  • Be accompanied by vomiting, confusion, double vision, weakness, or numbness
  • Get worse with coughing or exercise, or with a change in body position

Other symptoms may include:

  • Change in alertness (including sleepiness, unconsciousness, and coma)
  • Changes in hearing
  • Changes in taste or smell
  • Confusion or memory loss
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Difficulty writing or reading
  • Dizziness or abnormal sensation of movement (vertigo)
  • Eye abnormalities
    • Eyelid drooping
    • Pupils different sizes
    • Uncontrollable movements

Diagnosis:

  • CT scan of the head
  • EEG
  • Examination of tissue removed from the tumor during surgery or CT-guided biopsy (may confirm the exact type of tumor)
  • Examination of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) (may reveal cancerous cells)
  • MRI of the head

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