a brain Tumour an abnormal mass of cells that grow abnormally in or around the brain that can worsen brain function If it becomes large enough to put pressure on nearby nerves, blood vessels, or tissue. Contrary to common myth, not all brain tumors are cancerous. Also the symptoms of the health condition may vary from person to person depending on the location, type and grade of the tumor. According to a study, the incidence of central nervous system tumors in India is 5-10 cases per million people.
Dr Satish Satyanarayana, Additional Director – Department of Neurosurgery, Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, Bangalore, explains brain tumor symptoms, causes and treatment.
Not all tumors are the same and some may be more aggressive than others. While some may start in the brain area, metastatic tumors are those that spread to the brain after starting in another part of the body.
“The rate at which tumors grow varies. Some tumors grow quickly, while others grow slowly, resulting in malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous) tumors. Only about a third of these are malignant. Primary tumors develop in the brain and are much less common in adults than secondary or metastatic tumors that spread to the brain after starting in another part of the body,” says Dr. Satyanarayana.
Although the signs and symptoms of a brain tumor can vary, here are some common ones:
Signs and symptoms of brain tumor
*Severe and persistent headache
* Vomiting or nausea
* Blurred or double or loss of peripheral vision
*loss of balance
* analysis paralysis
* Inability to follow instructions
*changes in personality or behavior
While the causes of brain cancer are unknown, exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation or a family history may increase the risk. Other factors that may play a role in the development of brain cancer are aging, prolonged smoking, exposure to pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Working with elements such as lead, plastic, rubber, petroleum can also increase your chances of getting disease. Epstein-Barr virus infection, or mononucleosis, can also be possible causes.
There is a common misconception that every tumor will kill you or put you in a coma with many mental and physical problems. However, brain tumors can be successfully treated in most cases, and patients can return to their normal lives. A combination of treatments are used to treat the tumor, depending on its location, size, and type.
There are some options:
surgical removal Tumors are performed whenever possible.
radiation therapy Uses high doses of X-rays to kill or shrink tumors.
Chemotherapy: Anticancer drugs kill cancer cells throughout the body during chemotherapy and can be given as an injection into a vein or as a pill. In some cases, doctors use it before surgery to shrink the tumor; alternatively, it may be recommended after surgery to leave any cancer cells behind or to stop the remaining tumor cells from growing.
immunotherapyAlso known as biologic therapy, it employs the body’s immune system to combat disease, stimulate it and help it function more effectively.
target therapy Attacks specific characteristics in cancer cells without harming healthy cells and is recommended if someone has trouble tolerating the side effects of chemotherapy.