Cancer Home > Brain Cancer in Adults

Brain cancer in adults can be primary or secondary, and is characterized by abnormal cell growth in the tissues of the brain. The symptoms a person experiences will depend on the tumor size, type, and location. Treatment options for brain cancer in adults generally include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of these methods.

Brain Cancer in Adults: An Overview

Adult brain tumors are diseases in which cancer cells begin to grow in the tissues of the brain. Tumors that start in the brain are called primary brain cancer. Tumors that start in another part of the body but spread to the brain are called secondary brain cancer. Secondary brain cancer in adults is more common than primary brain cancer in adults.

Brain Cancer in Adults: Understanding the Brain

The brain controls vital functions, such as memory and learning, the senses (hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch), and emotion. The brain also controls other parts of the body, including muscles, organs, and blood vessels. The three major parts of the brain, each of which controls different activities, include the:
  • Cerebrum
  • Cerebellum
  • Brain stem.

Types of Brain Cancer in Adults

There are several types of brain tumors that can occur in adults, which include:
  • Brain stem glioma (see Brain Stem Glioma)
  • Pineal gland tumor
  • Astrocytoma
  • Anaplastic astrocytoma
  • Glioblastoma
  • Oligodendroglial tumor
  • Mixed gliomas
  • Ependymoma (see Ependymoma)
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Pineal parenchymal tumor
  • Germ cell tumor of the brain
  • Craniopharyngioma.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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