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Types of Tumors

A brain tumor is any mass or growth of abnormal cells occurring in the brain tissue, skull, supportive tissue around the brain, cranial nerves, or the pituitary or pineal gland.

Brain tumors are classified as primary or secondary. Primary brain tumors develop from brain tissue or the areas surrounding the brain. Secondary, or metastatic, brain tumors are tumors that form from cancer cells that start in another part of the body, such as the breast or lung, and travel to the brain, usually by way of the bloodstream. Secondary brain tumors are more common than primary brain tumors.

Many experts believe that a brain tumor occurs when certain genes on the chromosomes of a cell become damaged and can no longer function properly. These genes normally regulate how often the cell divides (or if it divides at all) and repair genes that become defective. Among the genes they repair are those that tell a damaged cell that cannot repair itself to self-destruct.

Some people may be born with partial defects in one or more of these genes and environmental factors may lead to further damage. In other people, environmental factors may be the only cause of damage to the genes.

To learn more about the types of tumors we treat, please refer to the list below. The goal is to improve the treatment of these brain tumors, while moving forward toward a cure. The Rose Ella Burkhardt Brain Tumor Center is a fine combination of research and clinical care: a team working together to offer the best science and technology can offer for brain tumors, one patient at a time.

Metastatic
Learn how these secondary brain tumors, once terminal, can now often be controlled in patients.
Pediatric
Supported by a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Cleveland Clinic Children's, we provide long-term treatment and care for our pediatric patients.
Pituitary
Surgery is the most common treatment for pituitary brain tumors. Learn more.
Primary
Most common types of primary brain tumors, including symptoms and treatment options.
Skull Base
Our Skull Base Tumor Program has become one of the largest benign brain tumor programs in the nation, treating over 200 new patients with meningioma and schwannomas annually.
Spinal
What are spinal tumors? And how are they diagnosed?