The Brad Kaminsky Foundation
In Memory of: Brad Kaminsky, Lisa Lewis Gibson, Robert (Bob) Lee Carter, Jr.

Also in Remembrance of: Susanne McMillan, Dan McNally, Tony Leonard, Andy Lewis, William Keyser, Diane Wyatt, Gregory Weiss, James McKenzie, Geoff Kornman, Brian Bedell, Joseph Gray, Mary Haller, Johnathan Hicks, Josie Chiang and all our Angels.

The Brad Kaminsky Foundation for Brain Tumor Research
20227 Catlett Place
Ashburn, VA 20147
(703) 729-9897
E-mail DNL1231@aol.com.

Information about Brain Tumors

Disclaimer: This information is for educational purposes only. We cannot assume responsibility for its accuracy. Please, obtain information about your condition from your Doctor. The Brad Kaminsky Foundation does not endorse any service, treatment, institution or physician

Information About The Brain / Possible Causes / Types Of Brain Tumors / Symptoms / Diagnostic Tools
Treatments / Clinical Trials / Follow Up Care / Medical Definitions

Types of Brain Tumors

Primary Brain Tumors

Tumors that begin in brain tissue are known as primary brain tumors. (Secondary tumors that develop when cancer spreads to the brain are discussed in the Secondary Brain Tumors section.) Primary brain tumors are classified by the type of tissue in which they begin. The most common brain tumors are gliomas, which begin in the glial (supportive) tissue. There are several types of gliomas: Astrocytomas arise from small, star-shaped cells called astrocytes. They may grow anywhere in the brain or spinal cord. In adults, astrocytomas most often arise in the cerebrum. In children, they occur in the brain stem, the cerebrum, and the cerebellum. A grade III astrocytoma is sometimes called anaplastic astrocytoma. A grade IV astrocytoma is usually called glioblastoma multiforme.

Brain stem gliomas occur in the lowest, stemlike part of the brain. The brain stem controls many vital functions. Tumors in this area generally cannot be removed. Most brain stem gliomas are high-grade astrocytomas. Ependymomas usually develop in the lining of the ventricles. They may also occur in the spinal cord. Although these tumors can develop at any age, they are most common in childhood and adolescence. Oligodendrogliomas arise in the cells that produce myelin, the fatty covering that protects nerves. These tumors usually arise in the cerebrum. They grow slowly and usually do not spread into surrounding brain tissue.

Oligodendrogliomas are rare. They occur most often in middle-aged adults but have been found in people of all ages. There are other types of brain tumors that do not begin in glial tissue. Some of the most common are described below: Medulloblastomas were once thought to develop from glial cells. However, recent research suggests that these tumors develop from primitive (developing) nerve cells that normally do not remain in the body after birth. For this reason, medulloblastomas are sometimes called primitive neuroectodermal tumors (PNET). Most medulloblastomas arise in the cerebellum; however, they may occur in other areas as well. These tumors occur most often in children and are more common in boys than in girls. Meningiomas grow from the meninges. They are usually benign. Because these tumors grow very slowly, the brain may be able to adjust to their presence; meningiomas often grow quite large before they cause symptoms. They occur most often in women between 30 and 50 years of age. Schwannomas are benign tumors that begin in Schwann cells, which produce the myelin that protects the acoustic nerve--the nerve of hearing. Acoustic neuromas are a type of schwannoma. They occur mainly in adults. These tumors affect women twice as often as men.

Craniopharyngiomas develop in the region of the pituitary gland near the hypothalamus. They are usually benign; however, they are sometimes considered malignant because they can press on or damage the hypothalamus and affect vital functions. These tumors occur most often in children and adolescents. Germ cell tumors arise from primitive (developing) sex cells, or germ cells. The most frequent type of germ cell tumor in the brain is the germinoma. Pineal region tumors occur in or around the pineal gland, a tiny organ near the center of the brain. The tumor can be slow growing pineocytoma) or fast growing (pineoblastoma). The pineal region is very difficult to reach, and these tumors often cannot be removed. Secondary Brain Tumors Metastasis is the spread of cancer. Cancer that begins in other parts of the body may spread to the brain and cause secondary tumors. These tumors are not the same as primary brain tumors.

Cancer that spreads to the brain is the same disease and has the same name as the original (primary) cancer. For example, if lung cancer spreads to the brain, the disease is called metastatic lung cancer because the cells in the secondary tumor resemble abnormal lung cells, not abnormal brain cells. Treatment for secondary brain tumors depends on where the cancer started and the extent of the spread as well as other factors, including the patient's age, general health, and response to previous treatment.

The Brad Kaminsky Foundation
for Brain Tumor Research
20227 Catlett Place
Ashburn, VA 20147
(703) 729-9897
E-mail DNL1231@aol.com
[The Brad Kaminsky Foundation]

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