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The Difference Between a Brain Tumor and Brain Aneurysm

by | Jun 4, 2024

Brain tumors and aneurysms are both serious conditions affecting the brain. Let’s explore their definitions, causes, symptoms, diagnostic methods, treatment options, and prevention strategies.

man reading a book in the library

What is a Brain Tumor? 

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of cells within the skull or central spinal canal. The tumor can be non-cancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Also, the tumor can originate in the brain (primary) or a result from the spread from other parts of the body (secondary).

 

Brain Tumor Common Causes and Risk Factors

Risk factors can be a result of genetic mutations. Also, a previous exposure to radiation (x-rays and previous radiotherapy) can increase the risk of brain tumors. Likewise, obesity and head injuries also slightly increase the risk of brain tumors.

 

Symptoms of Brain Tumors

Symptoms include headaches, nausea, dizziness, and speech difficulties. Changes in behavior, heading problems and disorientation are also common symptoms of brain tumors.

 

Diagnosis

Diagnosing brain tumors is through Imaging tests such as a CT scan or MRI. A biopsy will also help identify brain tumors.

 

What is a Brain Aneurysm?

A brain aneurysm is a weak spot in a blood vessel inside the brain. A brain aneurysm also resembles a berry hanging from a vine. When the “berry” ruptures, it causes what is known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage (internal bleeding).

 

Brain Aneurysm Common Causes and Risk Factors

High blood pressure, smoking, and other genetic factors contribute to aneurysm formation. They can occur due to a combination of factors and there are risk factors which can be controlled.

 

Symptoms of Unruptured and Ruptured Aneurysms

Unruptured aneurysms are often asymptomatic but may include severe headaches. Ruptured aneurysms are accompanied by intense headaches, nausea, vomiting, stiff neck and problems with vision.

 

Diagnosis

Diagnosing brain aneurysms are through CT scans and angiography. Read more in our “Brain Aneurysm MRI and CT Scans” article on assessing and diagnosing a brain aneurysm and a few useful things to know.

 

Key Differences Between Brain Tumors and Aneurysms 

Pathophysiology

Pathophysiology is a medical term to explain the changes that occur during the disease process. Brain tumors result from abnormal cell growth whereas aneurysms involve weakened blood vessel walls. Tumors grow progressively, while aneurysms generally remain stable until they rupture.

 

Symptoms

Tumors cause chronic symptoms such as headaches while aneurysms result in sudden, acute symptoms.

 

Diagnostic Techniques

Detecting tumors requires specific imaging and biopsy techniques, while an angiography can be sufficient to detect aneurysms. Although there are MRIs, MRAs and CT scans, cerebral angiogram is a minimally invasive procedure and powerful diagnostic tool to confirm brain aneurysms and visualize blood vessels in the brain.

 

Symptoms Comparison

Brain Tumor symptoms vary based on tumor location and size. Symptoms may include neurological deficits, seizures, and, as previously mentioned chronic headaches.

 

Brain aneurysm Symptoms include headaches often described by sufferers as “the worst headache of their lives.”  Symptoms also include sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting.

 

Treatment Options 

Brain Tumors treatments include surgical removal, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Optimal care requires a multidisciplinary approach, where a team of treatment specialists regularly confer and collaborate to ensure the best outcome for the patient.

Brain Aneurysms require monitoring and lifestyle changes when unruptured aneurysms are detected. Treatment can also include Surgical clipping or endovascular coiling for ruptured aneurysms. Immediate treatment and intervention can prevent permanent brain damage.

 

Recovery and Rehabilitation 

Brain Tumor Recovery includes post-surgical care with physical, occupational and speech therapy.  Recovery and rehabilitation for brain tumor patients involves long-term monitoring and follow-up. 

Brain Aneurysm Recovery also includes post-surgical care with rehabilitation addressing neurological deficits as well as long-term monitoring and lifestyle adjustments.

 

Prevention and Risk Management

Early detection and timely intervention are crucial for prevention of brain tumors and aneurysms:

Brain tumors prevention includes genetic counseling for those who have a family history. Regular monitoring and healthy lifestyle choices are optimal risk management strategies.

Brain aneurysm prevention includes managing blood pressure and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption.

 

Your journey to Optimal Brain Health Begins Here 

At Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic, our neurointervention specialist, Dr. Manish Taneja, has the experience and expertise. Our clinic provides world-class care and treatment for brain aneurysms.  Contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Brain Aneurysm Resources

Discover brain aneurysm resources that go beyond the basics designed for patients. Understand the meaning of  a brain aneurysm condition, the causes, symptoms, signs, and more. Connect with your brain health.

Put Brain Aneurysm on Your Health Radar

Did you experience the worst headache of your life? Could it be a brain aneurysm that ruptures, which means bleeding in the brain? Thoughts could be racing through your mind. Then what is the difference between unruptured (a weak or thin spot on an artery in the brain that balloons) or ruptured brain aneurysm? If you’re wondering, then the Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is here to help. It’s important to look out for the tell-tale brain aneurysm symptoms, signs, causes, and risk factors.

Dr. Manish Taneja has been performing brain aneurysm treatments since 1995 from surgical clipping to latest minimally invasive procedures. Each patient is unique as is the size and location of the aneurysm. Your brain has different conditions to treat the aneurysm and artery vessel walls of a blood vessel in the brain. This calls for personalised brain aneurysm treatment depending on your symptoms, family, history, medication, and more. A simple CT scan could be just what the doctor ordered and the first step in early detection and prevention of a brain aneurysm. Come in for an easy consultation with our brain aneurysm specialist in Singapore to be on your health radar.

Other Health Conditions

The Supreme Vascular and Interventional Clinic is your “go-to” facility for various conditions and treatments. To arrange an appointment with Dr. Manish Taneja, our brain aneurysm specialist, contact us. You can also call us at (+65) 6904 8084 for a consultation.