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Are all brain tumors cancerous?

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Brain tumors are abnormal growths of cells in the brain.

Although such growths are popularly called brain tumors, not all brain tumors are cancerous. Malignant (cancerous) tumors can grow and spread aggressively, overpowering healthy cells by taking their space, blood, and nutrients. They can also spread to distant parts of the body. Like all cells of the body, tumor cells need blood and nutrients to survive.

Tumors that do not invade nearby tissue or spread to distant areas are called benign. In general, a benign tumor is less serious than a malignant tumor, but a benign tumor can still cause many problems in the brain by pressing on nearby tissue.

In the U.S., brain or nervous system tumors affect about 6 of every 1,000 people.

From: Brain Cancer WebMD Medical Reference

Author: Charles Davis, MD, PhD, Research Director, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Coauthor(s): Nitin Tandon, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Editors: Brian F Chinnock, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Jerry Balentine, DO, Professor of Emergency Medicine, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine; Medical Director, Saint Barnabas Hospital.  




ADDITIONAL SOURCE:

National Cancer Institute.

 

 

 

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on January 16, 2017

Author: Charles Davis, MD, PhD, Research Director, Professor of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, Division of Emergency Medicine, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Coauthor(s): Nitin Tandon, MD, Staff Physician, Department of Surgery, Division of Neurosurgery, University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Editors: Brian F Chinnock, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso; Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD, Senior Pharmacy Editor, eMedicine; Jerry Balentine, DO, Professor of Emergency Medicine, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine; Medical Director, Saint Barnabas Hospital.  




ADDITIONAL SOURCE:

National Cancer Institute.

 

 

 

Reviewed by Laura J. Martin on January 16, 2017

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How do primary brain tumors develop?

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