An abnormal multiplication of brain cells. Any tumorous swelling tends to compress or even destroy the healthy brain cells surrounding it and – because of the rigid closed nature of the skull – increases the pressure on the brain tissue. Malignant brain tumours, which are much more common in children than in adults, include medulloblastomas and gliomas; these grow rapidly, spreading through the otherwise normal brain tissue and causing progressive neurological disability. Benign tumours, such as meningiomas, grow slowly and compress the brain tissue. Both benign and malignant tumours commonly cause fits. Benign tumours are often cured by total surgical resection. Malignant tumours may be treated by neurosurgery, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy, but the outcome for most patients remains poor.
Subjects: Medicine and Health.