The nervous system is made of two parts: Central nervous system that includes the brain and spinal cord and the Peripheral nervous system involving all other neural elements, such as eyes, ears, skin, and other sensory receptors. Cancer is the uncontrolled division of cells due to the mutations in the cell DNA. Neurological cancer is cancer of the brain or spine. Sometimes it affects both areas of the body at once. Brain cancer occurs when cells inside your brain reproduce uncontrollably, forming a mass. This mass, also called a tumor, can be cancerous (high grade, malignant) or noncancerous (low grade, benign).Malignant neurological tumors can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of your brain. Benign tumors don’t spread, but they can still cause neurological cancer symptoms, especially if they grow to be quite large. A tumor that grows into or presses on an area of the brain may stop that part of the brain from working the way it should, whether the tumor itself is benign or malignant, and will then require treatment.
The most common type of brain tumor seen does not originate from the brain tissue itself, but rather are metastases from extracranial cancers such as lung cancer and breast cancer. primary and metastatic. Many cancers exhibit a propensity of spread towards the CNS, and brain metastases are common problems seen in malignancies such as lung, breast, and melanoma. Such spread may involve the brain or spine parenchyma or the subarachnoid space. In the PNS, spread is usually through direct infiltration of nerve roots, plexi, or muscle by neighboring malignancies
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When cancer affects the nervous system it may result in significant neurologic morbidity and mortality. These effects may be direct with cancer involvement of the brain, spine, or peripheral nervous system (PNS)—or indirect as in paraneoplastic neurologic syndromes are rare disorders associated with cancer, not caused by direct invasion, metastasis or consequences of treatment. They are usually autoimmune in nature. Often, PNS precedes the manifestations of cancer. Primary brain tumors include tumors that originate from the tissues of the brain or the brain's immediate surroundings. Primary tumors are categorized as glial (composed of glial cells) or non-glial (developed on or in the structures of the brain, including nerves, blood vessels and glands) and benign or malignant.
In some cases, cancer has sudden, devastating effects on the nervous system: epidural spinal cord compression or cord transection from pathologic fractures of vertebra involved by cancer; increased intracranial pressure from intracranial mass lesion growth and edema; and uncontrolled seizure activity as a result of intracranial tumors (status epilepticus), which are neuro-oncologic emergencies. Treatment of cancer can have neurologic complications. The commonest of these complications are radiation-induced injury to the brain, spine, and peripheral nerves and chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy. The suppressant effect of cancer and its treatment on the body’s immune system can result in infectious complications within the nervous system.
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