Posted by 365Doctor on February 1st, 2017 | Comments
A tumor is an abnormal growth inside the cells of the brain. There are more than 120 types of brain tumors, out of which most are curable. Brain tumors may be primary or secondary, depending on their origin. The diagnosis is mainly done with the help of various scanning techniques like CT scan, Angiogram etc. The doctor may also ask for a biopsy for differentiating a tumor from a cancer. Treatment depends on the size, type and location of the tumor.. Brain tumor is defined as an abnormal growth of cells within the brain or the central spinal canal. Different types of brain tumor exists some are cancerous (malignant) and some of the tumors are non cancerous (benign). Brain tumors may start from the brain or others may start from some other body part and spread it to the brain.
They are created by an abnormal and uncontrolled cell division. Though treatment options are available usually detection occurs in advanced stages when the presence of the tumor has caused unexplained symptoms. It can be life threatening if not detected at an early stage.
The symptoms of the brain tumor depend on the size, location and growth of the tumor. The common signs and symptoms include:
• New onset or change in pattern of headaches
• Frequent and severe headaches
• Unexplained nausea or vomiting
• Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
• Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
• Difficulty with balance
• Speech difficulties
• Confusion in everyday matters
• Personality or behavior changes
• Seizures, especially in someone who doesn't have a history of seizures
• Hearing problems.
A brain tumor that starts in the brain itself or in tissues nearby it such as in the brain-covering membranes (meninges), cranial nerves, pituitary gland or pineal gland are called primary brain tumors. It starts when normal cells acquire error in their DNA. These errors allow cells to grow and divide at increased rates and to continue living when healthy cells would die. This results in the formation of abnormal cells which later forms a tumor.
Primary brain tumors are rare as compared to secondary brain tumors, in which cancer begins elsewhere and spreads to the brain. Many different types of primary brain tumors exist. Each gets its name from the type of cells involved. Examples include:
- Acoustic neuroma (schwannoma)
- Astrocytoma, also known as glioma, which includes anaplastic astrocytoma and glioblastoma
- Germ cell tumor
- Cancer elsewhere in the body
- Prolonged exposure to pesticides, and chemicals
- Inherited diseases
Secondary brain tumors are a result of a cancer that starts from some other part of the body and spreads to the brain. It mostly occurs in those who have history of cancer. But in rare cases, a metastatic brain tumor may be the first sign of cancer that began elsewhere in the body.
- Breast cancer
- Colon cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Lung cancer
Although anyone can get a brain tumor, factors that may increase the risk of a brain tumor include:
• Brain tumors occurs more frequently in whites than they do in people of other races.
• The risk of a brain tumor increases with the age.
• People who have experienced exposure to radiation called ionizing radiation are at greater risk of brain tumor.
• Chemical exposure on the job in certain industries is likely to increase the risk of brain tumor.
• Family history of brain tumors.
There is a need of specific tests to diagnose the brain tumor. The doctor may examine the signs and symptoms. He may ask about the patient’s medical history. To verify the disease the doctor may conduct tests. The tests may help to determine the cause of the tumor and the size, location and growth of the tumor.
The treatment depends on the location and size of the tumor and also on the overall health and preference of the patient. The treatment options available are:
Targeted drug therapy
Rehabilitation after treatment:
• Physical therapy
• Occupational therapy
• Speech therapy
• Tutoring for school-age children in their memory and thinking.
Complications of brain tumor depend on the part of the brain it has affected. Complications may include:
• Weakness in body parts
• Vision changes
• Personality or behavior changes
• Hearing loss
There is no way to prevent brain tumor. The best way is early detection and best suitable treatment to cure the condition.