Tumours in the brain are often the result of metastases – daughter growths of tumours in other parts of the body. The cancer cells responsible for these split off from the original tumour and travel to the brain via the blood, lymphatic system or CSF (cerebrospinal fluid).
Multiple metastases are usually formed. The most common causes include lung, breast and skin cancer (malignant melanoma). Following craniotomy, metastases are usually completely removed with a process known as neuromonitoring. In some cases, we use stereotactic neurosurgery.
The symptoms of metastases are similar to those of brain tumours and depend greatly on the size and position of the growths. Typical symptoms, however, include headaches, dizziness, nausea, epileptic fits and symptoms of paralysis as well as personality changes.
Although multiple metastases are usually treated with radiotherapy and chemotherapy, individual growths – if the patient’s general health permits it – can be removed with microsurgery.