What are brain tumours?

Primary brain tumours are tumours that start in the brain. They can start anywhere in the brain and there are many different types of tumour.

The brain and spinal cord

To understand brain tumours it helps to know about the different parts of the brain and spinal cord.

Brain tumour symptoms

Common symptoms of brain tumours include headaches, feeling or being sick and seizures (fits).

Getting diagnosed with a brain tumour

You usually start by seeing your GP who might refer you to a specialist. Or you might go to Accident and Emergency (A&E) if you suddenly have severe symptoms.

Survival for brain tumours

Survival depends on different factors such as the type, position and grade of your brain or spinal cord tumour. 

Types of brain tumours

There are many different types of brain tumours. They are usually named after the type of cell they develop from. 

Grades of brain tumours

The grade of a brain tumour gives doctors an idea of how fast or slow the tumour might grow.

Treatment for brain tumours

Treatment for a brain or spinal cord tumour depends on the type of tumour you have, where it is and your general health. 

Research and clinical trials into brain tumours

Researchers in the UK are looking at better ways to diagnose and treat brain tumours and manage treatment side effects.

Living with a brain tumour

Practical and emotional support is available to help you cope with a brain or spinal cord tumour.

Risks and causes of brain tumours

There are some factors that increase your risk of developing a brain tumour. These include being older, and a family history.

Last reviewed: 
18 Jan 2023
Next review due: 
18 Jan 2026