This image is a coloured MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan of a front section through the head and neck. This patient has low grade glioma, which is a type of tumour that starts in the brain (most commonly) or spine. It is given this name as it arises from glial cells (non-neuronal cells that form myelin and protect neurones in the brain). The tumour is seen here as a pink mass (top right) within a cyst (white), towards the back of the brain (blue).
Glioma affects the central nervous system and symptoms will vary depending on which area is affected. Brain gliomas may cause headaches, nausea, vomiting and seizures. Gliomas of the spine may cause numbness or pain in the extremities and optic nerve gliomas may lead to visual loss.
Low grade gliomas such as this can often be completely removed surgically and are less likely to return after using this method. Radiotherapy may be used if the tumour does return.
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