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Anatomy of the Brain

The brain is an important organ that controls thought, memory, emotion, touch, motor skills, vision, respiration, temperature, hunger, and every process that regulates your body.

Brain Tumors

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of tissue in the brain. The tumor can either originate in the brain itself or come from another part of the body and travel to the brain.

Basics of Brain Tumors

Brain tumors form in one of two ways: A primary brain tumor starts with an abnormal brain cell and grows in the brain, and a metastatic tumor starts with an abnormal cell from another organ that makes its way into the brain, stays there, and multiplies to form a tumor made of that kind of cell.

Skull Base Chordoma

A chordoma is a form of bone cancer that can occur anywhere along the length of the spine, from the base of the skull to the lower back.


A craniopharyngioma is a benign tumor that is found near the pituitary gland, a structure in the brain that controls the release of many hormones in the body.

Rathke Cleft Cysts

Rathke cleft cysts are fairly rare. They make up less than 1 percent of all tissue masses that start in the brain.

Paranasal Sinus Tumors

A paranasal sinus tumor is a cancer that has grown inside your sinuses, the open spaces behind your nose.

Olfactory Neuroblastoma

An olfactory neuroblastoma often happens on the roof of the nasal cavity. It involves the cribiform plate, which is a bone between the eyes and located deep in the skull.


An astrocytoma is a type of brain tumor that develops in astrocytes, the star-shaped cells in the brain that hold nerve cells in place. Astrocytomas are most common in middle-aged men, but they can occur in children, too.

Skull Base Rhabdomyosarcoma

Rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare type of cancer that starts in skeletal muscle cells, the muscles that control all of your voluntary muscle movements.

Am I At Risk for a Brain Tumor?

Doctors do not know exactly what causes a brain tumor, although certain factors appear to raise your risk: exposure to radiation or pesticides, an impaired immune system, and a family history of brain tumors.


Oligodendrogliomas are uncommon brain tumors. They make up about 3 percent of all brain tumors. They are usually found in men in their mid-30s to mid-40s, but they can develop at any age, including during childhood.
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