Brain lesions refer to a wide array of conditions that affect the brain. Lesions can occur in adults and children alike, and may result from many causes. Trauma, certain health conditions, and cancer are some potential causes of brain lesions.
What are Brain Lesions?
Brain lesions refer to any abnormality in the brain, and take many forms unique to everyone. Lesions are often accidental findings when scanning the brain for other problems. They can be detected through imaging techniques such as MRI or CT scans, and often show up as dark or light areas that do not look like normal brain tissue.
Diagram of the brain and its lobes. Image courtesy of Cancer Research UK.
Brain Lesions can take Many Forms:
They can be small or large
Some lesions have symptoms while others do not
Some lesions can be minor; some are life-threatening
Lesions may occur in one or multiple places in the brain
They can be cancerous or benign
A tumor may start in the brain (primary) or start elsewhere and move to the brain (metastatic)
They may be functional abnormalities
They can be arteriovenous malformations – tangled blood vessels that cause irregular connections within the brain
What is the Difference Between Brain Lesions and Brain Cancer?
A brain lesion is damage to any part of the brain, and can result from trauma, disease, or other problems. Brain cancer refers specifically to cancerous cells in the brain that may form a tumor.
Benign brain tumors are slow growing and do not spread to other parts of the body. These types of tumors are usually harmless but can be life threatening depending on its location.
Malignant tumors, on the other hand, can destroy tissue or disrupt the body’s normal function by putting pressure on surrounding structures.
The Symptoms of Both Brain Lesions and Cancer are Similar, and Include:
Changes in the ability to talk, hear, or see
Changes in mood or behavior
Feeling weak or sleepy
Nausea and vomiting
Problems with balance or walking
Problems with thinking or memory
If you are experiencing these symptoms, consult with your doctor in order to identify the cause.
Treatment for Brain Lesions at Blue Ridge Radiation Oncology
Radiation therapy is a non-surgical, non-invasive option to treat many types of brain tumors and abnormalities. There are several different therapies that can be used to treat brain lesions. All types of radiation therapies for brain lesions are extremely precise, maximizing the radiation dose to the tumor or lesion while minimizing damage to surrounding tissue.
Treatments for brain lesions at Blue Ridge Radiation Oncology:
Our doctors are experts at providing safe, high-quality radiation therapies to treat abnormalities in the brain. We are with you from day one answering any questions or concerns you may have, and continue to offer support and guidance once you have finished with treatment.
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AnMed Health & Blue Ridge Radiation Oncology are charter members of Levine Cancer Institute's cancer care network. Carolinas HealthCare System's Levine Cancer Institute aims to build "a cancer institute without walls," by increasing access to specialist consultations, research offerings, program offerings and services to member institutions throughout the Carolinas.