Imagine an organ no more than 15 centimeters and hardly 1.1 kilograms. An organ so small and light, but carrying out almost each and every function of the human body. Controlling every movement, sending signals to and from one nerve to the next and back again. The Brain does all of it and more. So, when there’s trouble there, there’s trouble in your overall health.
What is a brain tumour?
A tumour in the brain is the growth or even a mass of abnormal cells in the brain. It is important to know that a diagnosis of a tumour does not mean you have cancer. A tumour can be benign as well. Benign tumours rarely grow into being cancerous and doesn’t affect the surrounding tissues. A brain tumour can originate in the brain or it can also be due to cancer in a different part of the body and has metastasised into the brain.
How fast and far the cancer can spread is totally dependent on the rate of growth of the tumour and also greats depends on the location of the tumour as well.
What causes a brain tumour?
The causes of the tumour which originates in the brain differs greatly from the tumours which originate elsewhere and spreads to the brain. The brain tumour which originates in the brain is called primary tumours as it is diagnosed in the area it has originated in. According to research, the number of people with brain tumours originating in the brain is found to be less compared to the tumours spreading to the brain.
However the causes of brain tumour are:
Environmental like exposure to ionizing radiation or could be inherited like Von Hippel- Lindau disease, multiple endocrine neoplasia, Neurofibromatosis and others carry risk of developing brain tumors. When it comes to primary brain tumours, the particular tumour gets the term depending on the cells involved.
Some of them are:
Gliomas: This type of tumours begin in the brain or spinal cord.
Meningiomas: When it comes to meningioma, this is a tumor that arises from the membranes which are surrounding your brain and the spinal cord (meninges). However, most meningiomas which are diagnosed are not cancerous.
Acoustic neuromas: The acoustic neuromas are usually benign tumours that develop on the nerves which control the balance and hearing which leads from the inner ear to your brain.
Pituitary adenomas: The pituitary adenomas are mostly benign tumours that originate or develop in the pituitary gland which is at the base of the brain. These tumours can affect the hormones which originate in the pituitary gland and eventually spreads throughout the body.
Medulloblastomas: These type of cancerous brain tumours are most commonly found in children. A medulloblastoma growth starts in the lower back part of the brain and tends to gradually spread through the spinal fluid to the body. These tumours are rare in adults but they do occur.
Germ cell tumours: Germ cell tumours might develop during childhood at the area of the body where the testicles or ovaries will form. But very rarely, germ cell tumours can affect other parts of the body, such as the brain. When it comes to cancer which spreads to the brain after originating in the other parts of the body, which is called the metastasizing of the tumour. Breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, lung cancer and kidney cancer can spread to the brain.
How do you know if you have a brain tumour?
When you talk about whether you know you have a tumour in your brain, it is mainly due to the symptoms which show if you really have a tumour. However, the symptoms vary to a great extent depending on the size, location and most importantly the rate of growth.
The symptoms are:
- A new and different pattern of headaches
- Headaches which become frequent and more severe
- Problems in vision
- Nausea or sudden vomiting
- Loss of sensation or even movement in the leg
- Difficulty with speech
- Behaviour and personality changes
- Seizures and hearing problems
Treatments for brain tumour
Now, with the understanding of the disease and more access to information over the internet, people have become more open and understand that panic is not an option. However, when it comes to treating cancer, most people have one word in mind, which is chemotherapy. Even though chemotherapy is an important and effective treatment option, it is not the only one.
The treatments of brain tumour are:
Surgery The surgery for treating brain tumour is only possible if the tumour is located in such a part of the brain, so that it is accessible by the surgeon to remove it. In this case, the surgeon takes out the portion of the tumour which can be surgically removed and the rest of it is treated through other methods. Surgical treatment, often carries risk of infection and bleeding as well. So, it is essential that you consult with an expert surgeon or you can visit us at Sunshine Hospitals and our surgeons will do their best in treating the tumour.
Radiation Therapy The treatment of Radiation therapy uses beams of high energy such as X-rays or even protons to kill the tumour cells. Radiation therapy most commonly uses Whole Brain radiation where your whole brain is exposed to the radiation beams. Recently introduced radiosurgery,uses computerised calculations to focus radiation at site of tumor while minimizing the radiation dose to surrounding brain. Side effects of radiation therapy can be headaches, memory loss to some extent, fatigue and irritation in the scalp.
Most of you have heard of this term as a treatment of any kind of cancer. The treatment of chemotherapy uses drugs to kill the tumour cells. The drugs under chemotherapy can be taken orally and also is most commonly given by injection into the bloodstream. The side effects of chemotherapy is many of you already know is hair loss, nausea and vomiting. Cancer is still regarded as the emperor of almost all illnesses(if the tumour is malignant, of course). But even if you have a tumour which is diagnosed as benign, it might have a chance of becoming malignant if it is not treated in time. So if you think, you or someone you know might have the symptoms, visit us or Book an Appointment at Sunshine Hospitals so that our expert surgeons can get you back on your feet and beat this condition.
About The Doctor:
Dr Naveen is an expert in treating patients with brain tumor. He is one of the best Neurosurgeons in Hyderabad and is sought after for some of the most delicate and complicated brain surgeries.
About Sunshine Hospitals:
A Multi Super Speciality Institution, 500 bedded Sunshine Hospitals (Paradise Circle, Secunderabad) is promoted by globally reputed Joint Replacement Surgeon Dr. AV Gurava Reddy (Orthopedic Doctor) and like-minded associates who share the objective of making world-standard healthcare available, affordable and accessible to the common man.