Brain Tumor – Types, Symptoms, Causes And Treatment
The world is struggling with COVID-19 crisis and lacs of people have succumbed to this pandemic. While the whole focus of the people at the global level is on coronavirus, there are some diseases that continue to take a toll on people’s health and are the cause of deaths across the globe.
One such disease is a brain tumor. A brain tumor is a cancerous or non-cancerous mass growth of abnormal cells in the brain. It disrupts the proper functioning of the brain.
As per a source: The incidence of central nervous system (CNS) tumors in India ranges from 5 to 10 per 100,000 population with an increasing trend.
The exact cause of brain tumors is not clear, but the most obvious reason that has come to the forefront is exposure to radiation, especially due to previous cancer treatment.
Types of a Brain Tumor
A doctor begins the brain tumor treatment after diagnosing the type of brain tumor for the nature of treatment will depend on the tumor type.
A benign brain tumor is the least aggressive type of brain tumor. The origin of this form of tumor is the cells that surround the brain. It is non-cancerous in nature, grows slowly and does not spread into other tissues as they have clear borders.
A malignant brain tumor contains cancer cells and does not have clear borders. It is life-threatening and grows rapidly. The effects are also seen in the surrounding tissues.
A tumor that starts in the brain’s cells and spreads to other parts of the brain or the spine. This type of tumor rarely spreads to other organs of the body.
Metastatic, also known as a secondary brain tumor begins in another part of the body and spreads to the brain. A secondary brain tumor is more common than a primary one and is named after the source of its origin.
Symptoms of a Brain Tumor
The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor vary greatly, depending on the size, location and growth rate.
Common symptoms of a brain tumor are:
- Onset or change in the pattern of an existing headache
- Frequent and severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vision problems lie blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
- Loss of sensation or movement in the arms or legs
- Difficulty in maintaining the balance of the body
- Speech difficulties
- Increased confusion
- Behavioral changes
- Unexpected seizures
- Hearing problems
Whatever symptoms you have, discuss it with a brain specialist for its early identification.
Causes of a Brain Tumor
The risk of developing a brain tumor depends on many things that include age, lifestyle, genetic and environmental factors.
Brain tumors can start at any age, but the risk increases with age. The risk is the highest for people aged 85 to 90.
A type of brain tumor, meningioma, affects people who are overweight or obese. A large number of brain tumor cases are reported to have affected people with excess weight.
- Family history & genetics
You are at a higher risk of developing a tumor in the brain in a lifetime if you have a close relative, especially parents and siblings, who has a brain tumor. A small percentage of brain tumors are caused due to genetic conditions.
- Medical radiation
In rare cases, people who have received radiation from any of the previous radiotherapy treatments happen to develop a brain tumor. Although the risk of radiation from a medical scan is low, the danger still exists.
Treatment for Brain Tumor
There is life beyond a brain tumor with the right treatment. After all, timely treatment and an expert brain specialist can allow you to lead a healthy life.
Treatment for brain tumors depends on various factors including type, location and size of the tumor, age & health of the patient. Also, treatment methods and schedules differ for adults and children.
Brain tumors are treated with options like surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy. Several methods may be used, depending on the need of the situation.
Surgery is the most common treatment for brain tumors. A neurosurgeon makes an opening in the skull to remove the brain tumor and the operation is called a craniotomy. In most of the cases, the doctor removes the entire tumor.
If the tumor can’t be removed without damaging vital brain tissues, the doctor may remove the maximum part of it. This relieves symptoms and reduces pressure on the brain. Additionally, it also reduces the amount of tumor to be treated by radiation therapy or chemotherapy.
- Radiation therapy
Better known as radiotherapy, this treatment makes use of high-powered rays to damage cancer cells and prevent them from growing. It is generally used to destroy tumor tissues that can’t be removed with surgery or to kill the cells that remain even after surgery.
Chemotherapy kills cancer cells with the use of drugs. A brain specialist may use just one drug or a combination of drugs. It can be given orally or by injecting it into the blood vessels or muscle. A short hospital stay may be necessary in a few cases during a chemotherapy session.
A brain tumor is a commonly occurring disorder that disrupts lives irrespective of age. Early detection and treatment can help in defeating it.
Consult the expert neurosurgeon at Ojas Hospital if you are experiencing any of the symptoms. Timely treatment can save a dear life and we are there to provide you with the best cure.