Difference Between Brain Tumor and Brain Cancer

Brain Tumor vs Brain Cancer

Tumor (tumour) is defined as new growth (neoplasm). Brain tumors are new growth of the brain tissue or the covering of the brain. Tumors can be benign (harmless tumors) or malignant (cancer). If a tumor breach the covering and spreads in to other parts it is considered as cancer. Both benign and cancer tumors rarely produce the symptoms early. Usually the symptoms are due to the pressure effect and increased intra cranial pressure. Skull bone is limiting the space to grow. So any new growth will increase the intra cranial pressure. The symptoms may be headache, vomiting and numbness of the hand / leg or fits (depends on the site of the tumor). As these symptoms are non specific to the disease, the diagnosis needs the imaging techniques to diagnose.

CT or MRI is needed to identify the size and site of the tumor. Benign tumors are usually slow growing and usually need no treatment unless it compresses the brain matter. But brain cancer needs emergency intervention. It may be brain surgery, chemotherapy (drug therapy) or radio therapy. The type of the tumor will be confirmed when the tumor tissue taken by surgery and examined under microscopy.

Fortunately the occurring of brain tumor is considerably low. And most of the brain tumors are benign. The availability of the imaging techniques are helpful to diagnose the brain tumors.


• Brain tumors can be benign or malignant.

• Benign tumors are harmless, however they can cause damage by pressure effect or increased intra cranial pressure.

• Malignant tumors can be from brain tissue or secondary deposit (from other cancers)

• Benign tumors need no emergency treatment unless causing damage.

• Malignant tumors need emergency treatment.