The brain cancer quiz introduces the symptoms, risk factors, and types of tumors associated with brain cancer. There are an estimated 80,000 total cases of brain cancer each year in the United States. There are no known risk factors for brain cancer, but inherited gene changes and family history are suspected to increase one’s risk.
Symptoms for brain cancer can occur because of the tumor’s pressure on the brain. These symptoms include severe headaches, seizures, or a change in sensation (vision, smell, hearing). Over time, more specific symptoms might occur due to parts of the brain not being able to function properly.
What are the types of Brain Cancer?
Brain cancer is classified by primary and secondary tumors. Primary tumors start growing in the brain. Secondary tumors begin in other parts of the body, then metastasize to the brain. These tumors are nearly ten times more common than primary tumors. Below is a list of the primary tumors associated with brain cancer:
- Gliomas: Consist of 30% of all brain cancer cases, making it the most common type of tumor. Gliomas contains most of the aggressive and fast-growing subtypes and they begin in the glial cells within the brain.
- Meningiomas: Most common tumor type in adults only. Meningiomas starts growing within the meninges, the tissue that surrounds both the brain and spinal cord. Women are twice as likely to develop this. These tumors are graded between I to III by the number of abnormal cells versus normal cells detected. The higher the number of abnormal cells, the higher the grade.
- Medulloblastomas: Growing in the cerebellum, these tumors are likely to metastasize through cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). This type of brain cancer is more prominent in adolescents than in adults.
- Gangliogliomas: Typically, a slow growing tumor, gangliogliomas are uncommon for adults and contain both glial cells and neurons. These tumors can normally be removed by surgery or combined with radiation therapy.
- Schwannomas (neurilemmomas): Making up 8% of all brain tumors, these tumors develop in Schwann cells, which insulate cranial nerves. They can form on the cerebellum or the spinal cord causing bowel and bladder complications.
- Craniopharyngiomas: This tumor starts in the pituitary gland below the brain and can press against the hypothalamus. Located near optic nerves, vision can be affected. Because of the location, removal of these tumors is tricky despite being slow growing. This type of tumor is more common in children than adults.