The appearance of brain tumours, just like tumours in any other part of the body, is due to an alteration in the mechanisms controlling cell division. In the majority of the cases we do not know the factor responsible for this alteration.

These tumours can be classified into two large groups, the so-called primary tumours whose origin is brain tissue and metastatic tumours, or tumours originating in another organ and whose dissemination reaches brain tissue.

Clinical signs

In the majority of cases the symptoms are insidious, headaches, changes in character, vertigo, etc. in other cases they appear with neurological symptoms such as epileptic seizures, difficulty in handling objects, difficulty in walking or talking, etc. in these cases the course is usually progressive, with the clinical signs worsening week after week.


The first approach diagnosis will be clinical, a detailed medical record and a complete neurological examination may aid in indicating the diagnosis. Imaging tests, mainly cranial magnetic resonance imaging, will help to confirm or discard the diagnosis. In those cases where a metastatic origin is suspected, further test will be required in an attempt to locate the origin of the lesion.


The treatment of brain tumours considers three basic pillars, surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Depending on the type of tumour (histology), location and others factors, the treatment of choice will be one or another or even in some cases a combination of these treatments.