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1. The most common brain tumors are cancers from other parts of the body (e.g. lung, breast, colon or prostate) that spreads to the brain.
2. Primary brain tumors originate in the brain and there are over 126 such tumors listed by WHO.
3. Glioma is the commonest primary brain tumour and originates from supporting brain cells that are called glial cells and 50% of all brain tumors begin as benign tumors.
4. Another brain tumour called ‘Astrocytomas’ are so named because their cells look like stars ; the word ‘astro’ in Latin means "star".
5. A primary brain tumour usually is restricted to brain and does not spread to other organs. If brain death occurs in these patients, it is possible to donate their organs.
6. In most instances the cause of brain tumor is not known and they do not discriminate among gender, class or ethnicity.
7. Each year approximately 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with metastatic or primary brain tumor.
8. Common symptoms of a brain tumor include headaches, seizures, personality changes, eye weakness, nausea or vomiting, speech disturbances, memory loss.
9. The survival from brain tumor at five years is approximately 30%.
10. Brain tumors can be treated by surgery, radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, chemotherapy or by using these in combination. The most important issue when treating these patients, besides trying to cure them, is to ensure that the quality of life is not compromised.
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