Understanding brain tumours

Brain tumours (internationally known as 'brain tumors') are quite complex. At present, we know of over 140 different types of brain tumour, each with differing biological characteristics. Some of these characteristics determine whether a tumour is 'high grade' (what we might think of as brain cancer) or 'low grade' (non-cancerous). However, differences are not just biological. Different types of tumour may cause different side-effects, have different treatments and different prognoses.

The information we provide is aimed at everyone, whether you are directly affected by a brain tumour or not. However, if you are directly affected by this disease, this information may help you in a number of ways. For example, it may give you a better idea of what to expect from your treatment, help you ask your doctor the right questions or it could provide you with suggestions on how to manage any symptoms and side-effects you may experience.

Understanding brain tumours is also about finding new ways to improve outcomes. Through clinical trials, patients can receive a high level of care and attention (whether or not they receive a new drug or treatment on the trial) and researchers get the opportunity to learn more about brain tumour biology and the effectiveness of new treatments.

Symptoms and diagnosis

The human brain, symptoms of a brain tumour, how they are diagnosed and the different types of brain tumour

Treating brain tumours

The different treatments that are available for both adults and children

Clinical trials

What is a clinical trial and how to find them

Navigating the system

How the NHS works, healthcare professionals you may meet, questions you may like to ask, and getting a second opinion

Living with a brain tumour

Impact on your daily life of living with a brain tumour as a patient or carer, such as side-effects, finance, driving/travel