Brain cancer is a disease of the brain where cancer cells (malignant) grow in the brain tissue. Cancer cells grow to form a mass of cancer tissue (tumor) that interferes with brain tissue functions such as muscle control, sensation, memory, and other normal body functions.
Tumors composed of cancer cells are called malignant tumors, and those composed of noncancerous cells are called benign tumors. Cancer cells that develop from brain tissue are called primary brain tumors.
Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are the most common treatments for most brain cancers. Individual treatment plans often include a combination of these treatments.
Spine cancer begins in the spinal column (backbone) or spinal cord. The spinal column is made up of linked bones, called vertebrae. The spinal cord is a column of nerve tissue that runs from the base of the skull down the back. It is surrounded by three protective membranes, and is enclosed within the vertebrae. Many different types of cancer may form in the bones, tissues, fluid, or nerves of the spine.
Spinal cord tumors can be either primary (originating in the spinal cord) or secondary (metastases of cancer that originated elsewhere in the body).
The goal of treatment is to remove or destroy as much of the tumor as possible while protecting the healthy tissue around it. Treatment for brain and spinal cord tumors can involve a combination of therapies, including surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.
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