Brain tumour: Cancer Research UK on 'different types' in 2017
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There are more than 200 different types of cancer and the type of cancer you have is determined by where the cancerous cells have initially developed and where they have spread to. If cancerous cells multiply in an abnormal, uncontrollable way in the brain, it is known as a brain tumour. The symptoms of a brain tumour vary depending on the exact part of the brain affected.
“The most common symptoms of this are headaches, feeling sick and vomiting,” explains Macmillan Cancer Support.
According to the charity, “the headache may be worse in the morning or get worse when you cough, sneeze or bend down”.
Most people get headaches from time to time, often because of stress or tension.
However, “it is very important you see a doctor if your headaches wake you up at night or are worse in the morning”, warns Macmillan Cancer Support.
You may not have a brain tumour, but these types of symptoms should be checked.
“If the GP cannot identify a more likely cause of your symptoms, they may refer you to a doctor who specialises in the brain and nervous system (neurologist) for further assessment and tests, such as a brain scan,” explains the NHS.
According to the health body, more than 11,000 people are diagnosed with a primary brain tumour in the UK each year, of which about half are cancerous.
“Many others are diagnosed with a secondary brain tumour.”
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Am I at risk?
The cause of most brain tumours is unknown, but there are several risk factors that may increase your chances of developing a brain tumour.
Having a risk factor does not mean you will get cancer.
Your risk of developing cancer depends on many things including your age, genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors.
According to Cancer Research UK, brain tumours can start at any age. But as we get older our risk of developing most cancers, including brain tumours, increases.
“The risk of brain tumours is greatest in those aged between 85 and 89 years,” warns the charity.
A risk factor you can modify is being overweight or obese.
“Being overweight or obese increases the risk of some cancer types, including a type of brain tumour called meningioma,” warns Cancer Research UK.
About two out of 100 brain tumours diagnosed in the UK every year are caused by being overweight or obese.
However, genes have been found to be one of the strongest associations.
People with certain inherited conditions that promote tumour formation, including neurofibromatosis and tuberous sclerosis, are at an increased risk.
Such conditions cause about five percent of gliomas.
Glioma is a common type of tumour originating in the brain.
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