A brain tumour forms when cells grow and divide in an uncontrollable way. When this occurs, the tumour takes up space within the skull and can interfere with the brain's normal activity. A tumour may cause damage by increasing pressure in the brain, by shifting the brain and causing it to push against the skull, and/or by invading and damaging nerve and healthy brain tissue.
Brain tumours can be benign or malignant (brain cancer). There are two main types of brain cancer:
- Primary – a tumour that originates from the brain tissue
- Metastatic – a tumour caused by cancer elsewhere in the body that spreads to the brain
Most of these tumours have no known risk factors and occur at random. Some symptoms to be aware of are:
- Nausea & vomiting
- Weakness or numbness on one side of the body
- Changes in vision, hearing, speech or sensation
- Memory loss
- Change in mood or personality
For brain tumours, the treatment options are determined on the basis of:
- Tumour type and grade
- Location and size
- Patients age, medical history and health
Surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy are all utilised treatment options for these tumours.
External Beam Radiotherapy for Brain Tumours
External beam radiotherapy is used to treat both:
- Benign and malignant tumours, and
- Primary and metastatic brain cancer
Brain tumours because of their presence in the most important organ of the human body and their usual close proximity to some of the most important components of the body require high levels of radiotherapy treatment accuracy.
Radiotherapy treatment services for brain tumours are available at the following Genesis Cancer Care Western Australia centres: