Cerebral (Brain) Tumours

Brain tumours develop due to uncontrolled division of cells which leads to the formation of a mass. It is often the supportive cells of the brain, which are called glia, that predominate in this process.

Brain tumours cause symptoms by increasing pressure inside the cranial cavity, by pushing and stretching the adjacent brain tissue, or by invading and destroying functioning brain tissue.

Some of the commonest symptoms include headache, nausea, vomiting, seizures, limb weakness or personality change.

Brain tumours are categorised depending on the origin of the cell that produces the tumour.

These tumours have been categorised by the World Health Organisation (WHO) into four categories (I-IV) based on the histological characteristics of the tumour. Generally speaking, the higher the WHO category, the more aggressively the tumour will behave.

In Australia, about 1800 adults are diagnosed with brain tumours each year. This will increase to more than 2000 by year 2020, as a result of the aging of the population.

Most people are diagnosed in the sixth decade of their lives and, unfortunately, the majority of these tumours are WHO grade IV tumours with aggressive growth potential.

A diagnosis of brain tumour can be the most traumatising event in anyone’s life. Although there is extensive information available via various means on cerebral tumours, it is important to understand that everyone’s situation will be different and unique.

It is important that you receive the optimal advice and expert treatment by an experienced team. Specialists at Neurosurgery Tasmania have extensive experience in treating patients with brain tumours, and work closely with radiation and medical oncologists amongst other specialists, to optimise treatment for patients diagnosed with brain tumour.