Have You Ever Wondered About Brain Tumours? as Scary as the Term Sounds, It’s Essential to Understand the Basics.
A brain tumour refers to an abnormal growth of cells in your brain or surrounding areas, like the nerves, glands, or membranes enveloping that squishy yet magnificent organ in your skull.
While the causes aren’t always clear, the effects can range from barely noticeable to life-threatening depending on the type, location, and growth rate. The good news is that many people live happy lives after treatment. Knowledge is power, so read on to learn everything you need about this mysterious malady, hoping that awareness and early detection can make all the difference.
A brain tumour is when cells in your brain grow out of control. These overgrowing cells can crowd out healthy brain tissue, causing problems. Brain tumours are serious, but the good news is that many are noncancerous (benign), and some cancerous (malignant) tumours can be successfully treated.
Not all brain tumours have symptoms. Some common signs of a brain tumour include:
If you experience these symptoms, see Neurosurgeon in Indore immediately for an accurate diagnosis and treatment. They may order imaging tests like an MRI to detect the tumour and determine if it’s cancerous. Treatment options for benign tumours include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and medication. Malignant brain tumours typically require more aggressive treatment.
When it comes to brain tumours, not all are created equal. There are two main types: benign and malignant. Benign brain tumours are noncancerous, meaning they grow slowly and don’t spread to other parts of the brain. Malignant brain tumours are cancerous, growing rapidly and often extending into other brain tissue.
Including meningiomas, gliomas, and pituitary adenomas. While typically not immediately life-threatening, they can cause problems as they grow and pressure sensitive brain tissue. Treatment usually involves surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or a combination.
Like glioblastomas, they are more dangerous. These fast-growing cancers invade and damage healthy brain tissue and can spread quickly. They’re more challenging to treat and often recur after initial treatment. Aggressive treatments like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation are typically required, but the prognosis is often poor.
No matter the type, any brain tumour is a severe medical condition and should be diagnosed and treated promptly by a Neurosurgeon in Indore. Early detection and treatment offer the best chances for successful management or cure. Don’t ignore symptoms – your brain is too important. Get checked out right away. The earlier a brain tumour is found, the better your odds will be.
The most common symptoms of a brain tumour include:
You may experience pain in a specific area of your head that does not improve with pain medication. The pain may be worse when you change positions or first wake up.
The increased pressure in your skull from a growing tumour can cause nausea and vomiting. This tends to be worse in the morning.
You may experience blurred vision, double vision, or loss of sight.
Seizures can occur if a tumour is in or near the part of the brain that controls muscle movement or senses. The type of seizure depends on where the cancer is located.
You may feel weakness or numbness in your arms and legs or on one side of your body. This can indicate that a tumour puts pressure on or damages parts of the brain that control motor and sensory functions.
Tumours in the brain’s temporal lobe, which helps with memory and speech, can cause memory loss, especially short-term memory loss. You may frequently need to remember names, events, or conversations.
Tumours in the brain’s frontal lobe, which controls personality and behaviour, can cause changes in mood and behaviour. This may include increased irritability, loss of inhibition, depression, or restlessness.
Tumours that affect the cerebellum, which controls balance and coordination, can lead to problems with walking, balance, and motor skills. You may frequently need to work on getting clumsy.
If you experience these symptoms, incredibly persistent or worsening, consult a Neurosurgeon in Indore immediately. Early diagnosis and treatment of a brain tumour is critical. A brain tumour is a severe medical condition, so seek immediate medical care.
A neurosurgeon in Indore will run some tests to determine if you have a brain tumour and what type it is. The first step is often an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scan. This uses magnetic fields to create detailed images of your brain. An MRI can show the tumour, its size, location, and whether it’s benign or cancerous.
If the MRI shows a tumour, the doctor may order a biopsy to get a sample of the tumour cells. This is done through a minimally invasive procedure, often using a needle. The cells are then examined under a microscope to determine if the tumour is benign or malignant. Benign tumours are noncancerous, while malignant ones are cancerous.
A positron emission tomography (PET) scan may also be done. This uses a radioactive tracer to see the metabolic activity in different parts of your brain. A PET scan can provide additional information about a tumour to help determine a treatment plan.
Other Tests Could Include:
The diagnosis process involves several tests and procedures to determine the specifics of your brain tumour. Accurate diagnosis is critical to developing an effective treatment plan to manage or remove the tumour.
If diagnosed with a brain tumour, you have several treatment options to consider with your doctor. The options depend on the tumour’s type, size, and location. If possible, the goal is to remove the cancer while minimizing damage to healthy brain tissue.
The most common treatment is the surgical removal of the tumour. A Neurosurgeon in Indore will operate to take out as much of the tumour as possible without harming critical brain areas. Complete removal can cure some benign tumours. For malignant tumours, surgery may be followed by other treatments like chemotherapy or radiation therapy.
Radiation uses high-energy beams to kill tumour cells. It can shrink tumours before surgery or be used to kill any remaining cells. Whole brain radiation exposes the entire brain to radiation. Stereotactic radiosurgery uses focused radiation just on the tumour. Radiation therapy is often used for tumours that cannot be removed surgically.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to destroy tumour cells. It may be used when the tumour has spread or recurred after initial treatment. Chemotherapy can sometimes cross the blood-brain barrier to reach tumours. Implantable wafers with chemotherapy drugs can be placed in the brain during surgery.
Targeted drugs focus on specific abnormalities in tumour cells. These drugs target the tumour while sparing normal cells. They are used for some types of malignant gliomas and meningiomas that cannot be cured by surgery alone.
Sometimes, a combination of treatments may be recommended to increase effectiveness. Treatment options will be tailored to your situation for the best chance of managing the tumour. Close monitoring with regular MRI scans is typically needed after initial treatment.
Several factors may increase your risk of developing a brain tumour:
Brain tumours are most common in older adults, though they can occur at any age. As people get older, the chances of developing a brain tumour increase.
Previous exposure to ionizing radiation, such as radiation therapy to the head, may increase the risk of a brain tumour.
Some brain tumours run in families. Having close family members with a brain tumour puts you at higher risk. Specific hereditary syndromes also increase the risk, including neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Turcot syndrome.
Researchers are studying whether other factors, such as cell phone use, environmental exposures, head injuries, and diet, may influence brain tumour risk. Most studies have found no conclusive evidence linking these factors to brain tumours.
The causes of primary brain tumours are unknown. Primary brain tumours are caused by changes in a person’s DNA that allow cells to grow out of control. These DNA changes can be inherited or caused by lifestyle and environmental factors. Secondary brain tumours are caused by cancer cells that have spread from tumours elsewhere in the body.
By understanding the risk factors, you can take steps to reduce your chances of developing a brain tumour. Limiting exposure to radiation and chemicals, maintaining a healthy weight and diet, reducing stress, and not smoking are some preventive measures to lower your risk. Regular medical checkups and screening tests may help detect a brain tumour early.
Reference: Hopkins Medicine
Once diagnosed with a brain tumour, you’ll likely have many questions for your doctor. Here are some important ones to ask:
There are many types of brain tumours, so ask about the specifics of your tumour, such as whether it’s benign or malignant. The type and grade will determine your treatment options and prognosis.
The grade refers to how fast the tumour grows, while the stage refers to its size and spread. Lower-grade and stage tumours are less aggressive and often have better treatment outcomes.
Discuss potential treatments like surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, or targeted drug therapy. Ask about the risks and benefits of each option for your unique situation.
Treatment aims may include removing the tumour, slowing its growth, relieving symptoms, or curing cancer. Understanding the goals of treatment will help set the right expectations.
Ask about your chances of recovery and long-term survival based on statistics for your specific tumour type and grade. While prognosis can be difficult to determine precisely, your doctor can provide a general sense of what to expect.
Discuss possible side effects from treatment that could impact your daily activities, cognition, senses or mobility. Planning can help you cope with the impact on your quality of life.
Getting input from other experts is often a good idea. Ask if your doctor recommends consulting a specialist for a second opinion to confirm the diagnosis and explore all treatment options.
Ask about regular scans or checkups required to monitor your tumour and check for any signs of recurrence or progression. Close follow-up is essential, especially in the first few years after treatment.
So there you have it, the basics of brain tumours. As you’ve read, these growths can develop in the brain or nearby areas like the nerves or glands. The causes are complex and only sometimes clear. The good news is that not all brain tumours are cancerous, and even those that are can often be treated, especially if caught early. Knowing signs like worsening or persistent headaches, vision problems, nausea, and seizures is critical.
If you experience any of these or other troubling symptoms, don’t delay talking to Dr. Amit Deora, a Neurosurgeon in Indore. They have the expertise and technology to diagnose what’s going on properly. And if it is a brain tumour, the sooner they find it, the sooner you can discuss your options and next steps to overcome it.