Neurological Cancer Types
Neurological Cancer Types - Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
|The Brain and spinal cord form the central nervous system. The central nervous system is made up of nerve cells, called neurons and supporting cells called glial cells. The brain and spinal cord are supported by coverings called meninges.|
|Tumours that start in the brain are called primary brain tumours. Some types of brain tumours are begnin and some are malignant.|
|Begnin tumour is made of slow-growing cells and is unlikely to spread. However, a begnin tumour may cause problems because it takes up space inside the skull. It may press on the brain or important nerves that come out of the brain (called cranial nerves). The pressure may affect the normal function of these structures. It may raise the pressure in the skull and cause headaches and/or nausea. It is common for begnin brain tumours to be treated successfully.|
|Malignant tumour contains cancer cells, and are generally more serious and often life threatening. They are likely to grow rapidly and crowd or invade the surrounding healthy brain tissue. In other malignant tumours, cancer cells can spread to other parts of the central nervous system, or, rarely, other parts of the body. The tumour may be contained within a layer of tissue. Or the bones of the skull or another structure in the head may confine it. This kind of tumour is called encapsulated.|
Tumours are less common in the spinal cord than in the brain. A tumour in the spinal cord will affect the spinal cord by pressing on it. This may stop the flow of messages along the nerves between the brain and body and can affect the control of some parts of the body. Most commonly, this can cause difficulty with using the arms or legs or difficulty controlling the bladder or bowel. There may also be changes to the feeling in the skin.
Tumours may start in the spinal cord itself or grow from the coverings of the spinal cord. They can be begnin or malignant. Like brain tumours, they are named for the type of cell from which they grow.
|More information on Brain and Spinal Cord Tumours.|