What is a brain tumour?

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A brain tumour or neoplasm is an uncontrolled growth of the brain cells. If these cells are identical to those which form normal brain tissue, then they behave less aggressively and are known as benign tumours. And when the abnormal cells have lost, to a greater or lesser extent, their ability to perform their functions correctly then they are called malignant tumours (cancer). In this respect they are fast-growing cells that invade neighbouring areas and may even spread to other parts of the body (metastasis).

Although surgery is always the initial treatment proposed it is not always necessary or even possible. Surgery implies a risk that is only assumed in cases where it may provide a benefit, whether diagnostic or therapeutic.

Brain Tumour explained in first person

Professionals and patients explain how you live with the disease
When patients leave the hospital they may think, “And now what?” Well they must be made aware that they are the focal point for a team of specialists who will provide any necessary information and the correct treatment of their disease, as well as resolving any doubts that may arise.
Having the support of the people around you is fundamental. Explain things, tell them how you feel, and let them help you, let them support you and come to visit and cheer you up.

How many people are affected by Brain Tumour?

Brain tumours represent around 2% of all deaths caused by cancer. In Spain, 8.8 men and 6.4 women per 100,000 inhabitants will develop a brain tumour. The age of maximum incidence varies according to the type of brain tumour. Benign tumours are more common in younger patients, whereas malignant tumours are more frequent in patients aged over 60 years.


Type of Brain Tumour

Based on where they originate, brain tumours are classified into two types:

  • Tumours arising due to the excessive/rapid growth of nervous tissue cells. This group is further categorised into neuronal tumours and glial tumours.
  • Tumours originating in the structures enveloping the brain. This group primarily includes meningeal, nerve sheath and vascular tumours.

Tumour aggressiveness is categorised as follows in function of the tumour’s capacity for local growth and ability to reproduce itself even after treatment:

High. These are fast-growing tumours. Despite the application of all treatments available they have a high capacity for recurrence and local growth.

Low. These are slow-growing tumours that, depending on their grade, can be cured or controlled in the medium term.

What is Cancer?

General information about Cancer

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Substantiated information by:

Josep Juan González Sanchez
Sergio García García
Verónica Mato Pin

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 20 February 2018

The donations that can be done through this webpage are exclusively for the benefit of Hospital Clínic of Barcelona through Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica and not for BBVA Foundation, entity that collaborates with the project of PortalClínic.


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