There are more than 100 types of brain tumour, which are broadly categorised according to:
- where they originated
- whether they are cancerous or benign, and
- how fast or slow they grow and invade surrounding brain tissue.
They are graded on a scale of one to four (I to IV), from benign and slow growing (I) to the most malignant and aggressive (IV).
Primary brain tumours originate in the brain and can be cancerous or benign. It is very rare for these tumours to spread to another part of the body.
Secondary brain tumours are cancerous tumours that started as cancer in another part of the body and spread to the brain through metastasis. Some common examples are lung, breast and skin cancer.
Brain cancer refers to all brain tumours that are cancerous, regardless of where they first appeared.