Brain Tumors

Petrified of brain tumors? Do not be afraid, as brain tumors though a challenge for the doctors can be treated successfully. Brain tumor is actually growth or development of abnormal cells in your brain.

Medically, there are two categories of brain tumors, primary and secondary. The primary brain tumor develops in the brain and can be cancerous or noncancerous, whereas the secondary brain tumor originates elsewhere and spreads to the brain. Secondary brain tumor is more common than primary brain tumor.

The noncancerous or the benign brain tumor that grows at a slower pace and their obviation is easy, depending on their location. They rarely recur, unlike the cancerous or malignant brain tumor. The malignant brain tumor grows at a rapid rate and destroys the surrounding brain tissue, which generally does not occur in case of benign brain tumor.

Brain tumor and its symptoms

The symptoms of brain tumor are highly dependent on its location, size and growth. As brain tumor invades the brain tissues, it hampers the movement, sight, speech, balance, hearing, behavior or the memory.

Those experiencing the following symptoms may have brain tumor:

Speech difficulties
New change or onset of headache pattern
Unexplained vomiting or nausea
Vision problems, like blurred or double vision
Confusion in daily matters
Hormonal disorders
Behavioral changes
Hearing problems
Loss of sensation or movement
Seizures
Balance difficulty

One must rush to the doctor if he or she faces any of the above symptoms, as the earlier it is diagnosis diagnosed, the better it is for the patient.

The Causes

Children usually have primary brain tumor. Doctors believe that a primary brain tumor develops due to viruses, heredity, environmental factors and other factors. The common types of primary brain tumors are oligodendrogliomas, medulloblastomas, meningiomas, astrocytomas and acoustic neuromas.

The secondary brain tumor develops from the cancer of breast and lungs, which are likely to spread to the brain.

Doctors feel that there is a link between radiation and exposure to certain chemicals in the rubber manufacturing, oil refining, and nuclear industries, and brain tumors in a person. However, there are no evidences to prove this.

Brain tumors are most common in the people over 65 years of age and children under the age of eight years. The males and whites also have greater chances of developing a brain tumor.

The treatment

The treatment of the brain tumor depend on the patient’s age and overall health and also the type, size and location of the tumor. The initial treatment includes steroid medications to reduce the swelling of the tumor.

Surgical treatment of the brain tumor is required when there is a buildup of fluid in the brain due to the tumor. The neurosurgeons, radiologists, oncologists, radiation oncologists and neurologists treat brain tumors.

Other than surgery, the treatment of brain tumors involves chemotherapy (drugs taken in intravenously or by the mouth to destroy the cancerous tumor cells) and radiotherapy (the high-energy radiation to destroy the tumor cells in the brain).

If the treatment is successful, the patient needs to be monitored on a regular basis as a part of follow-up treatment. There are also side effects associated with the treatment of brain tumors like nausea and hair loss.

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