What are the types of Brain cancer?
Considered as the most common brain tumor, astrocytoma arises anywhere in the spinal cord or brain and develops from star-shaped, small cells called astrocytes. It’s more common in men than the women, and astrocytomas often occur in the largest part of the brain, cerebrum. The cerebrum controls speech movement and emotions, as well as reading, thinking, learning, and uses sensory information to tell our body how it should respond. The symptoms start to occur as the astrocytomas grow inside the brain, pressing against the tissues.
Types of Astrocytomas
- Anaplastic astrocytomas are grade III tumors that grow fast and are hard to remove because of their tentacles like fingers. Doctors in cancer hospitals advise radiation or Chemotherapy as these tumors invade neighboring tissues quickly.
- Diffuse astrocytomas are low-grade tumors as they tend to grow slowly. They can be treated with Biopsy or Surgery. In the case of reoccurrence or inoperable tumors, they are usually treated with radiation.
- Glioblastomas are hard to treat as they are made of different cancer cells and are called grade IV astrocytomas. More than half of astrocytomas are Glioblastomas. These tumors are aggressive and often develop in the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain.
- Pilocytic astrocytomas and subependymal giant cell astrocytomas are Brain Cancer types that are mostly found in children and are grade 1 tumors. They develop in the cerebrum, brain stem, optic nerve pathways, and cerebellum.
Chordoma tumors are generally rare and can metastasize or recur. Skull base chordomas are known as brain tumors as they grow inside the skull toward the brain. Interestingly, they do not develop from brain cells and are part of soft tissue tumors and a group of malignant bone called Sarcomas. Even though they are considered low grade, Chordomas are complicated tumors and challenging to treat due to the involvement of critical structures such as important nerves and arteries.
Types of chordoma
Conventional Chordoma is composed of a unique cell type that resembles notochordal cells. They are also called classic chordoma and are the most common form of chordoma. The most recently identified subtype of chordoma is Poorly Differentiated Chordoma. They are faster growing and aggressive than conventional chordoma and are common in young adult patients. A pathologist suggests a test of a tumor sample for loss of expression of a protein called INI1 for the diagnosis of poorly differentiated chordoma. Differentiated chordoma tends to grow quicker than the other types of chordoma, and is more likely to spread more aggressively than conventional chordoma. This type of chordoma is rare, occurring in pediatric patients.
Meningiomas (also known as meningeal tumors) develop in the cells of the membrane, covering the brain and the spinal cord. They are usually benign Brain Tumor and non-cancerous, but can also extend into the bones of the head and face, which can produce visible changes. In most cases, they remain undetected for years and are known as low-grade tumors that are not life-threatening. However, in some cases, brain tumors can cause disability and grow more rapidly.
These arise in the cells that make the layer that protects nerves. Mostly common in men than women, they usually grade 1, 2, or 3. Occurring frequently in the frontal or temporal lobes, they usually grow slowly and don’t spread to the neighboring tissue. In the case of a high-grade tumor, surgery, radiation therapy, or Chemotherapy is needed.
Developing in the lymphatic system, CNS Lymphoma is a type of Brain Tumor that is usually found in people whose immune systems are weak. The lymphatic system, in simple words, is a network of small organs called lymph nodes (like blood vessels) that carry a watery fluid called lymph throughout the body. This fluid supplies lymphocytes (cells) throughout the body that fights diseases and infections. The diagnosis of primary CNS Lymphoma is made by CT scanning of many parts of the body. This helps to confirm where cancer is originating from and see how far it has spread.
Craniopharyngiomas grow in the hypothalamus, near the pituitary gland, and in the regions of the optic nerves. Usually benign, they are the metastatic Brain Tumor that is sometimes considered malignant as they create pressure on the hypothalamus and affect body functions. Often occurring among men and women above 50, they are usually low grade and are often accompanied by a cyst.