Understanding Brain Tumours: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment Options

Brain tumours are abnormal growths of cells in the brain, which can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Brain tumours can vary in size, location, and aggressiveness, and they can affect brain function and overall health.

It is classified into two kinds: primary and secondary brain tumours.

Primary brain tumours originate from the tissues of the brain or the brain’s immediate surroundings. On the other hand, secondary brain tumours are not primary brain tumours but have spread (metastasized) to the brain from cancer in another part of the body, such as the lungs, breasts, or colon.

In this blog, we’ll talk about various types, typical symptoms, and available treatment options. 

Types of Brain Tumours:

  • Gliomas
  • Meningiomas
  • Pituitary Adenomas
  • Medulloblastomas
  • Schwannomas

Symptoms of Brain Tumours:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
(Pic Credit- freepik)
  • Neurological deficits like numbness in the limbs, difficulty with balance and coordination
  • Lack of concentration
  • Confusion or memory problems
  • Nausea

Diagnosis of Brain Tumours:

A brain tumour diagnosis is usually made with a neurological examination through imaging tests and a biopsy. Imaging tests such as MRI and CT scans can help identify the tumour’s size, location, and type. A biopsy is a procedure in which a small piece of tissue is removed from the tumour and examined under a microscope. It can help confirm the diagnosis and determine the tumour’s grade, measuring how fast it grows.

(Pic Credit- freepik)

Treatment Options for Brain Tumour:

Surgical removal of the tumour is often the first-line treatment if the tumour is accessible and can be safely removed without causing significant damage to vital brain structures.

Different surgical approaches may be performed when treating brain tumours:

  • Craniotomy: This is the most common surgical procedure for brain tumours. It involves making an opening in the skull to access and remove the tumour. The surgeon will carefully navigate around critical brain structures to minimize damage to healthy tissue.
  • Debulking surgery: This surgery method is usually used in secondary brain tumours or malignant cancerous conditions. In this procedure, the surgeon removes a significant portion of the tumour mass, aiming to reduce its size and alleviate symptoms.
  • Resection: Also known as excision or complete removal, it aims to remove the entire tumour along with a margin of surrounding healthy tissue. The goal of resection surgery is to eliminate the tumour, whenever possible, and provide the best chance of a cure or long-term remission.
  • Craniectomy: In cases where the tumour causes significant swelling, a portion of the skull may be temporarily removed to allow the brain to expand without increased pressure.

What’s New in Brain Tumour Surgery?

The advances in brain tumour surgery mainly focus on smaller incisions, maximum resection, and minimal neurological impact. For this, advanced techniques using state-of-the-art equipment are available including:

  • Awake craniotomy: Typically used for brain tumours located near brain regions responsible for functions like speech, motor control, and sensory perception, awake craniotomy is a surgical technique performed while the patient is awake and alert during certain stages of the procedure. This allows neurosurgeons to precisely map critical brain functions and minimize the risk of neurological damage.
(Pic Credit- braintumourresearch.org)
  • Neuronavigation: As the name suggests, it is the GPS of brain tumour surgery, providing neurosurgeons with a virtual roadmap through the intricate terrain of the brain. Utilizing 3D imaging and real-time tracking, this advanced system ensures precise localization of tumours and critical brain structures.
(Pic Credit- neurocaregroup)
  • Neuroendoscopy: A small camera and surgical instruments are inserted through a tiny incision or natural opening to access and remove the tumour, reducing the need for larger incisions.
(Pic Credit- ccjm.org)
  • Neuromonitoring: This procedure involves real-time monitoring of the brain’s electrical activity, as well as other neurological parameters, to detect any changes or abnormalities during surgery. This monitoring allows the surgical team to respond promptly and take necessary measures to protect critical brain functions and prevent potential neurological deficits.
(Pic Credit- openpr)


Brain tumours present significant challenges, affecting thousands of lives worldwide. Understanding the types, symptoms, and available treatment options is crucial for early detection and effective management. With advanced surgical treatment options such as awake craniotomy, neuronavigation, neuromonitoring, and neuro endoscopy, neurosurgeons are harnessing the power of technology to deliver precision, safety, and hope to every patient in need.

About the Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may also like these