Brain tumours

A brain tumour is a growth within the skull due to an abnormal increase of cells. This can occur in the brain or on the surface of the brain.

There are no symptoms that are unique to brain tumours. Symptoms such as headaches, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision or weakness of the limbs can be due to pressure effects within the rigid skull cavity. A tumour can also cause seizures due to infiltrative effects into the brain substance. Other symptoms can range from deafness, visual disturbance and problems with sense of smell and balance.

MRI Scan

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

This uses magnetic and radio waves, so no exposure to X-rays or any damaging forms of radiation

CT Scan

Computerised Tomography

Instead of sending out a single x-ray through the body, several beams are sent simultaneously from different angles.

How a brain tumour diagnosis is made

The bones of the skull can hide brain tumours. You cannot feel or see them during a routine examination. Scans produce pictures that suggest a particular type of tumour. And fortunately we have lots of weaponry to diagnose brain tumours without invading the body. But the only reliable way to an accurate diagnosis is to examine a sample of a tumour under a microscope, so a biopsy will sometimes need to be done. If this type of examination is not possible, an educated assumption is made based on available test results.

If there is a suspicion that there might be a brain tumour, then your doctor has a whole host of diagnostic weaponry, which will aid an accurate diagnosis. These tests determine firstly whether you have a brain tumour and then, if you do, what type of tumour



Increasingly, brain tumour treatment options are being ‘personalised’ to meet the needs of the patient. Today, clinicians no longer treat just plain cancer; they use the knowledge of the biology of cancer to plan treatments more effectively, as they know so much more about it.

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiotherapy