15 Types of Brain Cancer and Brain Tumor - The Complete Overview

What is Brain Tumor?

A brain tumor forms when the cells present in the brain start dividing uncontrollably and form a mass. These masses or tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (non-malignant). These can form primarily in the brain (primary tumors) or spread to the brain from other body parts (secondary tumors). Both benign and malignant tumors can lead to increased pressure in the skull and disruptions in brain functions, which can lead to various health complications.

How Common Are Brain Tumors, and Are They Dangerous?

The incidence of brain tumors is relatively low compared to other forms of tumors. Nevertheless, these cannot be ignored. It can be seen in both adults and children.

In India, brain-related tumors affect 5–10 out of 1,00,000 people.

While some tumors that form in the brain are not dangerous and can be treated effectively, others can be aggressive in their growth rate and progression and pose a danger to patients’ health. Early diagnosis and timely treatment support the effective management of this condition.

Brain Tumor vs Brain Cancer

The terms "brain tumor" and "brain cancer" are often used synonymously. However, they are not quite the same. Brain tumors refer to both benign and malignant growths inside the brain, whereas brain cancers only refer to malignant growths that tend to spread to other body parts.

Brain Tumor Types and Location

Brain tumors can be benign or malignant, which are further classified into different types, depending on their origin. The following are the different types of brain tumors:

Benign Brain Tumors

Benign tumors of the brain tend to grow slowly, and rarely spread to other parts of the body. They cause complications by compressing specific regions of the brain. The following are the different types of brain tumors that are benign in nature:

Malignant Brain Tumors

These refer to those tumors that grow at a faster rate and tend to spread to other parts of the body. The most common types of brain cancer tumors include:


Gliomas arise from glial cells, which are responsible for the protection of nerve cells (neurons). Glioma is the most common brain tumor in adults.

Based on the type of cells that they originate from, these brain cancer tumors are further classified. The following are different types of glioma:

Other Types of Brain Tumors:

Frequently Asked Questions

Presently, there are no known ways to prevent brain cancer completely. However, some measures can help reduce the risk of this condition, and they include avoiding exposure to hazardous chemicals, getting enough sleep, maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and wearing protective headgear while performing activities that come with a head injury risk.

When the cells present in the brain or spinal cord start dividing uncontrollably due to undesirable DNA mutations and form a mass of cancer cells that tend to spread to other organs, it is referred to as brain cancer.

The exact causes of this condition are, however, unknown. However, there are a few risk factors for this cancer, and they include certain inherited genetic disorders, exposure to harmful radiation, and a personal or family history of this condition.

Brain cancer is treatable. However, the prognosis of this disease largely depends on the type of tumor, its stage, its location, and the patient’s overall health status. Some types of brain cancer can be treated successfully, while others may require prolonged treatments that focus on managing the disease and delaying its progression.

The survival rates of this cancer type depend on a myriad of factors. Depending on the disease stage, the tumor grade, the treatment response shown by patients, and the overall health status of patients. For a better understanding of the prognosis of this disease, patients must have a detailed discussion with their expert team.

Each brain tumor type has a different growth rate. Some grow at a faster rate, whereas others grow slowly.

For both benign and malignant tumors of the brain to be caught in their early stages, it is important for patients to be mindful of their signs and symptoms and promptly seek appropriate medical attention.