Metastatic Tumors

Metastatic Tumors

A metastatic, or secondary, brain tumor is one that begins as cancer in another part of the body. Cancer cells may be carried to the brain by the blood or lymphatic fluid, or may spread from adjacent tissue. The site where the cancerous cells originated is referred to as the primary cancer. Primary cancer is usually in the lung, breast, colon, kidney or skin but can originate in any part of the body. Metastatic brain tumors are often referred to as lesions or brain metastases. They are usually located in the cerebrum but can also develop in the cerebellum or brain stem. Metastatic brain tumors are the most common brain tumors.


Some people with metastatic brain tumors have no symptoms. Others may experience a variety of moderate to severe symptoms including:

  • Dizziness
  • Seizures
  • Headaches
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness
  • Pain and numbness
  • Behavioral and cognitive changes
  • Lack of coordination

Because these symptoms may be caused by different conditions, you should be evaluated by a neurological professional to rule out other causes.

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