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< Brain and Spine Cancer


About Gliomas

Gliomas are not a specific type of brain tumor. Glioma is a general term for tumors that start in glial cells. A number of tumors can be considered gliomas, including:

  • Astrocytomas (which include glioblastomas)
  • Oligodendrogliomas
  • Ependymomas

About 3 out of 10 of all brain tumors are gliomas. Most fast-growing brain tumors are gliomas.


The symptoms of glioma vary by tumor type as well as the tumor's size, location and rate of growth.

Common signs and symptoms of gliomas include:

  • Confusion or a decline in brain function
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Headache
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Personality changes or irritability
  • Seizures, especially in someone without a history of seizures
  • Speech difficulties
  • Urinary incontinence
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision

Risk Factors

Like most primary brain tumors, the exact cause of gliomas is not known. But there are some factors that may increase your risk of a brain tumor. Risk factors include:

  • Exposure to radiation
  • Family history of glioma
  • Older age