Types of brain tumour
Brain tumours can be low-grade or high grade. We have more information about different grades of brain tumour.
We have separate information about tumours that start somewhere else in the body and spread to the brain (secondary brain tumours).
More than half of all brain tumours are gliomas. They develop from glial cells which are the supporting cells in the brain or spinal cord.
Gliomas can be different grades. Some are slow growing tumours. Others grow more quickly (high grade). A type of astrocytoma called a glioblastoma multiforme is a fast growing tumour.
Different types of glioma are also named after the type of glial cell they start in:
- Astrocytomas are the most common glioma. They start in cells called astroctyes. Different grades of astrocytoma have different names. For example, a grade 4 astrocytoma is called a glioblastoma multiforme.
- An oligodendroglioma develops from a glial cell called an oligodendrocyte.
- An ependymoma develops from a glial cell called an ependymal cell. They are a rare type of glioma.
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