Brain Tumors

What is a Brain Tumor?

Brain tumors are masses that form as a result of abnormal cell growth in the brain tissue. These tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). In any case, these masses can lead to serious health problems and require urgent treatment.

How is Brain Tumor Diagnosed?

The diagnosis and treatment of brain tumors are provided by neurosurgery specialists. These experts evaluate, classify, and determine the treatment plan for tumors using advanced diagnostic methods and advanced surgical techniques.


During the diagnostic process, imaging methods such as MRI and CT scans, as well as procedures like biopsies, are performed. These methods provide more information about the size, location, and type of the tumor, which plays a critical role in determining the treatment plan.

Treatment of Brain Tumor

The treatment of brain tumors is personalized and often requires the collaboration of multiple disciplines. Methods such as surgical intervention, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or a combination of these treatments can be used. The goal is to remove or control the tumor as much as possible.


Surgical treatment of brain tumors is usually performed using microsurgical techniques. The aim is to remove the tumor without causing significant damage to the surrounding healthy brain tissue. Advanced surgical navigation systems and imaging technologies assist surgeons in moving precisely and achieving the most effective results.


Although brain tumors are a complex issue, a sensitive approach to the needs of our patients and their families is necessary for early diagnosis and the most appropriate treatment throughout the treatment process.

Types of Brain Tumors

Brain tumors are classified as primary and secondary. Primary tumors originate in the brain and can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). Secondary brain tumors occur when cancerous cells from another part of the body spread to the brain.


Normally, aging and non-functioning brain cells die, and new cells take their place. However, sometimes this process is disrupted, and cells that should die continue to live even though the body does not require them. Over time, these accumulating cells form a tumor. The cells responsible for primary brain tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or benign.


In benign brain tumors, there are no cancerous cells. However, they can still pose a life-threatening risk due to their location in the sensitive brain region. Non-cancerous brain tumors have distinct boundaries that can be clearly observed and usually do not spread to surrounding tissues. What makes benign brain tumors dangerous is when they reach a certain size, they can exert pressure on sensitive areas of the brain, leading to serious health problems. Additionally, there is a risk that a benign brain tumor can transform into a cancerous brain tumor over time. Surgically removed benign brain tumors rarely recur and do not have the possibility to spread to other parts of the body.


Malignant brain tumors, formed by cancerous cells, grow faster compared to benign tumors and can invade the surrounding brain tissue. Cancerous cells in malignant brain tumors can separate from the tumor and spread to other regions of the brain and the spinal cord.

Grades of Brain Tumors

Brain tumors are graded based on the appearance of the cells that cause the tumor.


  1. Grade: The tumor is benign, and the structure of the tumor cells resembles that of normal brain cells. These tumors grow slowly.
  2. Grade: These are malignant cells. These cells resemble normal brain cells to a lesser extent than grade 1 cells.
  3. Grade: The cells that form the malignant tumor have a significantly different appearance from normal brain cells. The tumor tends to grow rapidly.
  4. Grade: The structure of malignant tumor cells is completely different from normal brain cells. Tumors formed by these types of cells grow rapidly.

A low-grade tumor can progress to a tumor that contains high-grade cells overtime. This transformation is more commonly seen in adults with brain tumors compared to children.

Symptoms of Brain Tumors

The symptoms of a brain tumor (benign or malignant) can vary depending on the size of the tumor, cell type, and location. Symptoms occur when the tumor begins to exert pressure on the brain and damage the nerves. Additionally, certain symptoms may be observed when the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid is disrupted due to the tumor.


The most common symptoms include:


Headaches: Headaches can be a sign of a brain tumor, but it’s important to note that they can also occur due to various other reasons such as stress, poor nutrition, or dehydration. Headaches caused by a brain tumor are most severe in the morning. Waking up with a headache, experiencing frequent headaches despite not having a history of headaches, an increase in the frequency of headaches over time, and experiencing nausea and vomiting along with headaches can indicate a brain tumor. One out of three patients with a brain tumor seeks medical attention due to headaches. Tumor-related headaches are often intense and prolonged. The severity of pain may decrease towards noon. As the tumor increases pressure on the brain, headaches worsen and become more frequent. Even bending, coughing, or exercising can exacerbate the headaches.


Nausea: Nausea caused by a brain tumor is often experienced in the morning. It can be accompanied by vomiting and persistent hiccups.


Numbness: Numbness is usually observed when a brain tumor reaches a certain size. As the tumor grows and exerts pressure on the surrounding tissues within the skull, numbness occurs, and there may be an increased need for sleep.


Vision and Speech Problems: Tumor-related problems can lead to visual impairment, fluctuation in the shape of objects, blurred vision, tunnel vision, double vision, and loss of vision. Difficulties in remembering words, difficulty in pronouncing words correctly, and difficulty in understanding spoken language can also be experienced.


Tremors and Twitching: Muscle twitches and tremors associated with a brain tumor are often seen in the hands, arms, and legs. Some tremors may occur throughout the body, resembling seizures, and may cause the patient to experience brief periods of unconsciousness. If a brain tumor is successfully treated, there is a high probability that tremors, seizures, and muscle twitches will completely disappear. However, in some cases, despite the removal of the tumor, tremors and muscle twitches may persist due to damage to the brain tissue. These tremors and muscle twitches can be controlled with epilepsy medications.


Other Symptoms


Other symptoms of a brain tumor include difficulties in maintaining body balance and walking, fluctuations in mood and changes in personality, inability to concentrate, memory problems, and sensory loss in the arms and legs.


Symptoms Based on the Region of the Brain Tumor: Different regions of our brain are responsible for various functions in our body. Therefore, the symptoms of each brain tumor may vary depending on its location. The possible symptoms based on the region of the tumor are as follows:


Frontal Lobe: Changes in personality, loss of interest in life, difficulty in planning and organization, irritability and aggression, sensory loss in the face or a part of the body, difficulty in walking, loss of smell, and difficulties in vision and speech.


Temporal Lobe: Forgetting words, difficulty in finding the right words while speaking, short-term memory loss, hearing nonexistent sounds, changes in smell and sensations (e.g., déjà vu).


Parietal Lobe: Difficulty in speech and understanding spoken language, difficulty in writing and reading, sensory loss in certain parts of the body.


Occipital Lobe: Vision problems, loss of vision in one or both eyes.


Cerebellum: Poor coordination, uncontrolled eye movements, stiffness in the neck area, dizziness.


Brainstem: Poor coordination, drooping of one eyelid or one side of the mouth, difficulty swallowing, double vision, difficulty in speaking.


Spinal Cord: Pain, partial body pain, weakness in the legs and arms, loss of control over bladder and bowel movements (urinary and fecal incontinence).


Pituitary Gland: Irregular or infrequent menstrual periods, infertility (in both males and females), fatigue, weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, swelling of hands and feet, fluctuations in mood.


Meninges: Weakening of motor skills, vision problems, nausea, headaches.


In some cases, tumors occurring in the frontal lobe, temporal lobe, and cerebrum may not cause any symptoms even when they have grown significantly. Memory loss, changes in personality, and difficulty in walking, which are commonly attributed to the natural aging process, can be signs of a brain tumor. If these changes occur within a period of less than 6 months in elderly individuals, medical attention may be required.


It should be noted that the symptoms listed above, which are associated with tumors in various regions of the brain, can also occur due to various other health issues. If you believe you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is best to consult with your doctor to determine the cause.

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