Brain Tumour - Types, Symptoms, Causes and Diagnosis

Types of Brain Tumours and Their Symptoms

There are 2 main brain tumour types. These are -

1) Primary tumour – This is a tumour emerging from the tissue of the brain and its surroundings. It can be cancerous or non-cancerous. It has two sub-divisions:

  • Glial tumour – It refers to abnormal growth in the non-neuronal section of the central and peripheral nervous system that provides electrical impulses.
  • Non-glial tumour – It refers to growth and multiplication of cells inside the brain structure comprising nerves, glands, and blood vessels.

2) Metastatic brain tumour – It is a tumour that does not arise in the brain but migrates to the brain from other body parts through the bloodstream or lymph nodes. It is always cancerous. Above 15000 people per year are diagnosed with metastatic tumours.

Here is a table encapsulating different types of brain tumours based on their origin and their respective symptoms -

  • Type 1: Benign Brain Tumour
  • Type 2: Malignant Brain Tumour


Location in Brain

Brain Tumour Symptoms

Type 1, Chordomas

Base of the skull, the lower part of the spine, often puts pressure on neural tissue

Nosebleed, headache, vision problem, muscle weakness, bowel problem


Deep inside the brain on the pituitary gland

Obesity, delayed development in the child, vision problem for the swollen optic nerve, hormonal problem


Neoplastic nerve cells

Endocrine disorder, vision problem, brain pressure

Glomus jugulare

On the top of the jugular vein at the base of the skull

Dizziness, hearing loss, hoarseness, loss of facial muscle movement


In intracranial part of the brain on the membrane-like structure across brain and spinal cord

Headache, weakness, seizures, vision problem


In pineal cells


Pituitary adenomas

On pituitary gland

Hormonal problem, vision problem, headache, behavioural changes


In nerve cells

pins-and-needle feeling, weakness, back and neck pain, lump, burning sensation

Type 2, Astrocytomas

In glial cells of the primary brain, spinal cord, cerebrum

Memory loss, seizures, behaviour change, headache


Ependymal cells in the lining of the ventricular system of the brain (caused by neoplastic transformation)

Headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, balance and walking problem, blurry vision, bowel problem

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)

Grows in glial cells, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes

Nausea, vomiting, headache, weakness, memory problem, difficulty in balancing, seizures



Hearing loss, dizziness, vomiting, nausea, problem in thinking ability.


Cells of myelin, the insulating wire of the brain

Language problem, balance and walking problem, personality change, memory loss, seizure


Blood vessels to the cerebellum

Loss of coordination, headache, imbalance, vomiting

Rhabdoid tumours

Central nervous system

Morning headache, un-sleepiness, loss of balance, coordination problem, increase in the size of the head, trouble in walking.

The Main Causes of Brain Tumour

Risk Factors of Brain Tumour

How Is Brain Tumour Diagnosed?

Frequently Asked Questions