The abnormal growth and division of cells in the brain leads to brain tumor. Brain tumor can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
Benign Brain Tumors:
- Benign are slow growing tumors that generally does not invade its surrounding tissue or spread to other areas of the body.
- They often have well-defined and circumscribed borders.
- It may take months or years for a benign tumor to change significantly in size.
- Benign tumors are freely movable within or on the tissue they reside on and are surrounded by a protective “sac” that not only segregates it from the rest of the brain tissue but also enables its easy removal.
- Benign brain tumor can be as serious and life-threatening as a malignant tumor if they are located in areas of the brain that control vital functions like breathing.
- If not life threatening, they can be surgically removed without causing any harm to the body.
- Benign tumors need regular tests periodically to ensure no formation of additional tumors or conversion of benign into malignant tumor.
- Prognosis of benign tumor is usually favorable.
Malignant Brain Tumor:
- Malignant tumor is made up of cancerous cells, it grows fast and is generally invasive & life threatening.
- Malignant tumors are irregular in shape and difficult to define its border.
- Malignant tumors have the ability to multiply uncontrollably and can grow appreciably in just a few weeks.
- Malignant tumor may change color and cause ulcerations
- Malignant brain tumor can be primary or secondary depending upon its place of origin. Primary brain tumor originates in brain itself whereas secondary or metastatic brain tumor originate in some other organ and tumor cells travel from the cancerous organ to brain and spread their secondarily. Primary brain tumor rarely spreads beyond the brain or spine.
- Malignant tumors are difficult to move around due to local tissue invasion
It is important to know if the tumour is benign or malignant,to determine its prognosis.The benign tumors do not pose a threat to life whereas malignant tumors need immediate attention and is life threatening.