A brain tumour is a condition in which abnormal cells develop in the brain. There are two main types of brain tumour; non-cancerous (or benign) brain tumours, and cancerous (or malignant) brain tumours.
Non-cancerous brain tumours are known as low-grade tumours; they grow at a slower rate and after treatment are less likely to return. Cancerous brain tumours are known as high grade and are more likely to grow back after treatment.

Depending on the specific part of the brain which is affected, symptoms of a brain tumour can vary. They can include:
• fits or seizures
• mood swings
• personality changes or memory loss
• persistent and intense headaches
• drowsiness
• nausea and vomiting
• problems with vision
• and weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.

Brain tumours might not exhibit any symptoms to start with, and they can develop slowly over time.

In many cases, the persistent headaches and other common symptoms related to a brain tumour can be initially be investigated by a GP – they may not be related to a brain tumour at all. When a more common cause for these symptoms can’t be identified, the GP then may choose to refer a patient to a neurologist, who can conduct further investigations, including a brain scan.

Treatment depends on the nature of the brain tumour, including factors such as its type, its location in the brain, its size, the nature of the cells, and the patient’s general health.
Among the treatment options for a brain tumour are steroids, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Steroids help to reduce swelling which develops around the tumour.

In many cases, surgery is considered the best course of action in addressing a brain tumour. The aim of surgery is to remove the tumour by taking out as much of the abnormal tissue as is possible in a safe manner. When it isn’t possible to remove the whole tumour, follow up treatment such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be used to treat remaining cells.

Regular follow up appointments are needed after surgery to remove non-cancerous brain tumours, to ensure they are not growing back. Follow-up appointments can also involve physical examinations and brain scans.
Depending on problems still experienced after surgery, therapies such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and speech and language therapy are often needed.
Tiredness often means a recovery period is needed before a return to work, and depending on the speed of a patient’s recovery, activities such as driving and sports can also be prohibited.