About Us

Committed to bringing the latest in neurosciences and staying responsive to the needs of the community, we will soon launch our dream project with a new 100-bedded facility that will bring to the region much needed specialties such as Radiosurgery.

Contact Info

Brain Tumours

A brain tumour is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain.

Brain tumours may be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous). 

Brain tumours can begin in your brain (primary brain tumours), or cancer from other parts of the body can spread to the brain (secondary, or metastatic, brain tumours).

The location, size and growth rate of a brain tumour determines how it affects the nervous system and the symptoms caused.

Symptoms caused by brain tumours may include:

  • Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting
  • Blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
  • Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Speech or hearing problems
  • Personality or behaviour changes and confusion
  • Seizures, especially in someone who does not have a history of seizures


Primary brain tumours originate in the brain or surrounding tissues, such as in the brain-covering membranes (meninges), cranial nerves, pituitary gland or pineal gland.

Primary brain tumours begin when normal cells acquire mutations in their DNA which causes cells to grow and divide at increased rates and to continue living when healthy cells would die. The result is a mass of abnormal cells, which forms a tumour.

In most people with primary brain tumours, the cause of the tumour is not clear. Risk factors include exposure to ionizing radiation and a family history of brain tumours.

Many different types of primary brain tumours exist. They are named by the type of cells involved. Examples include:

  • Gliomas. These tumours begin in the brain or spinal cord and include astrocytomas, ependymomas, glioblastomas, oligoastrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas.
  • Meningiomas. A meningioma is a tumour that arises from the membranes that surround your brain and spinal cord (meninges). Most meningiomas are noncancerous.
  • Acoustic neuromas (schwannomas). These are benign tumours that develop on the nerves that control balance and hearing leading from your inner ear to your brain.
  • Pituitary adenomas. These are mostly benign tumours that develop in the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. These tumours can affect the pituitary hormones with effects throughout the body.
  • Medulloblastomas. These are the most common cancerous brain tumours in children. A medulloblastoma starts in the lower back part of the brain and tends to spread through the spinal fluid. These tumours are less common in adults, but they do occur.
  • Germ cell tumours. Germ cell tumours may develop during childhood where the testicles or ovaries will form. But sometimes germ cell tumours affect other parts of the body, such as the brain.
  • Craniopharyngiomas. These rare, noncancerous tumours start near the brain’s pituitary gland, which secretes hormones that control many body functions. As the craniopharyngioma slowly grows, it can affect the pituitary gland and other structures near the brain.

Secondary (metastatic) brain tumours result from cancer that starts elsewhere in your body and then spreads (metastasizes) to your brain.

Secondary brain tumours most often occur in people who have a history of cancer. In rare cases, a metastatic brain tumour may be the first sign of cancer that began elsewhere in your body.

In adults, secondary brain tumours are far more common than are primary brain tumours.

Any cancer can spread to the brain, but common types include breast, colon, kidney and lung cancer, and melanoma.

If a brain tumour is suspected, the following tests may be carried out:

    • Neurological examination to check your vision, hearing, balance, coordination, strength and reflexes
    • Imaging technologies such as Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerized tomography (CT) can be used to help diagnose brain tumours
    • If it is suspected that your brain tumour may be a result of cancer that has spread from another area of your body, your doctor may recommend tests and procedures to determine where the cancer originated. One example might be a CT or PET scan to look for signs of lung cancer.
    • A biopsy (collecting and testing a sample of abnormal tissue) can be performed as part of an operation to remove the brain tumour, or a biopsy can be performed using a needle. The biopsy sample is then viewed under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous or benign. 

Brain tumour treatment options depend on the type of brain tumour you have, as well as its size and location.

If the brain tumour’s location makes it accessible for an operation, your surgeon will work to remove as much of the brain tumour as possible.

In some cases, tumours can be completely removed. Where a tumour cannot be separated from surrounding tissue or is located near sensitive areas in your brain, making surgery risky, the doctor will aim to remove as much of the tumour as is safe.

Risk and benefits of surgery will be discussed before any treatment decision is made. 

Minimally invasive surgical techniques to remove the tumours minimize the risk of serious complications.

Other treatments include:

  • Radiation therapy (uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to kill tumour cells). Common side effects during or immediately following radiation include fatigue, headaches, memory loss and scalp irritation.
  • Stereotactic Radiation Therapy (CyberKnife) uses multiple beams of radiation to give a highly focused form of radiation treatment to kill the tumour cells in a very small area, minimizing the effects on the surrounding healthy tissue.
  • Chemotherapy (uses drugs to kill tumour cells) can be taken orally in pill form or injected into a vein (intravenously). Side effects of chemotherapy include nausea, vomiting and hair loss, depending on the type and dose of drugs you receive. 
  • For some types of tumours, targeted drug treatments can block specific abnormalities present within cancer cells, causing the cells to die.

Rehabilitation therapies can help recovery following treatment:

  • Physical therapy – to help regain lost motor skills or muscle strength
  • Occupational therapy – for returning to normal daily activities and work
  • Speech therapy – if you have difficulty speaking
  • Tutoring for school-age children who may have changes in their memory and thinking after a brain tumour.

Our Honorary Partners