Brain Cancer

Brain Cancer

brain-cancer

A brain tumor is a space occupying lesion in the brain, and it is one of the leading cause of death, disability and hospitalization. It is an abnormal tumor growth within the brain with the tendency to change in size and shape that usually is challenging for a surgeon to decide to take a right decision. Brain tumors are broader class of masses that are within the cranium as well as central spinal canal. They get metastasize to lymphatic tissue, blood vessels, other cranial nerves, meningeal layers or covering brain sheaths, skull itself, pituitary gland, etc.

Depending on which cells involve, the brain tumors can be classified into many classes. The nerve cells can be glial, astrocytes,oligodendrocytes, and ependymal cells. A brain tumor is one of the most life threatening and serious condition that one may encounter in his/her lifespan. Brain tumors need to be monitored carefully because of their poor prognosis, duration of illnesses, and failure rate of neurosurgeries. Combination of factors such as type, location and size of tumor determine diagnosis and prognosis of brain tumor.


What are the causes and risk factors?

  1. Primary brain tumors can start from brain cells and its surrounding structures like meninges, where we cannot identify specifics.

  2. It is pretty unfortunate that when we treat the brain tumor through radiotherapy that can increase the risks rather than reducing. For instance, brain tumor can happen in the adulthood ,when radiotherapy treatment was given during childhood.

  3. If one works in a radiation unit, power lines or had a previous history of radiation exposures, the risk will get higher.

  4. Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome and Li-Fraumeni syndrome are the inherited diseases that can cause brain tumor.

  5. Stress and lifestyle are closely related to brain tumor and its occurrence.


Some of the facts and figures related to brain tumors

  1. Primary brain tumors can be both malignant and benign.

  2. A brain tumors can occur at any age, but specific tumors occur in specific ages.

  3. Brain tumors are classified as grade I, II, III, and IV. The most advanced stage cancers lead to definite death or disability.

  4. Family history usually is not correlated for some one to get a brain tumor, if so it is rare.

Symptoms of brain tumor

Symptoms vary depending on size, location, cell types being affected, etc. Some of the common symptoms are:

  1. Memory loss,

  2. Headaches with blurred vision,

  3. Seizures (especially in older adults),

  4. Weakness in one part of the body,

  5. Dizziness or abnormal sensation of movement (vertigo),

  6. Loss of balance or uncoordinated state,

  7. Loss of coordination and muscle weakness in the face, arm, or leg leading to paralysis,

  8. Psychological problems and learning disabilities,

  9. Headaches are associated with sleep; they occur with vomiting, confusion, double vision and numbness,

  10. Change in alertness and hallucinatory feelings.

How to treat brain tumors?

Treatment is a multi disciplinary approach with a doctor, neurosurgeon, nurse, etc. Some of the options are:

  1. Surgery with complete or partial resection of the tumor in order to cut down the number of cells and later introduce chemotherapy.

  2. Radiotherapy is widely used through the irradiation with beta, x, and gamma rays.

  3. Chemotherapy is less effective, but yet used in combination.

  4. Many researchers found that some alternative therapies such as stress management is useful.