A brain tumor is a sickness that many people are afraid of. Regardless of how frightening it may appear, it is critical that we have a fundamental understanding of the subject. This information may be useful to us in the future.
Here Dr. Mohana Rao, chief doctor at Dr Rao’s Hospitals, one of the best neurosurgery hospital in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh would express his thoughts on the subject.
What is the definition of a brain tumor?
A brain tumor is a collection of abnormal cells in your brain that forms a mass. A very rigid skull protects your brain. However, any expansion in such a remote location can generate complications. Brain tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous) (benign). The pressure inside your skull might rise when benign or malignant tumors get larger. It can result in brain damage, which can be fatal.
Usually neurosurgeons in India classify tumors based on where the tumor cells came from and whether or not they are cancerous (malignant) (benign).
Benign: A benign brain tumor is the least aggressive type of brain tumor. They arise from brain cells or cells surrounding the brain, do not include cancer cells, expand slowly, and usually have distinct borders that do not migrate to other tissues.
Malignant: Cancer cells are present in malignant brain tumors, which often lack clear borders. Because they multiply and infiltrate surrounding brain tissue, they are considered life-threatening.
Primary: Primary brain tumors are tumors that begin in the cells of the brain. Primary brain tumors can spread to other areas of the brain or the spine, but organs are rarely affected.
Metastatic: Metastatic brain tumors start in another part of the body and then move to the brain. These tumors are more prevalent than primary brain tumors, and they get their name from where they start.
There are around 120 different forms of tumors in the brain and central nervous system. Everyone’s brain and spinal cord tumors are different. They can appear in various places, grow from various cell types, and be treated in multiple ways.
What are the elements that put you at risk for a brain tumor?
1. History of the family
Only around 5 to 10% of all malignancies are inherited genetically or hereditary. It’s uncommon for a brain tumor to be passed down through the generations. If you or someone in your family has been diagnosed with a brain tumor, talk to your neurosurgery doctor.
Most types of brain tumors grow at risk as people get older.
3. Exposure to chemicals
Exposure to certain chemicals, such as those found in the workplace, can raise your risk of developing brain cancer.
4. Radiation exposure
Brain cancers are more common in people who have been exposed to ionizing radiation. High-radiation cancer treatment can expose you to ionizing radiation. In addition, nuclear fallout might potentially cause you to be exposed to radiation.
5. History of chickenpox in your family.
According to the doctor from the neurosurgery hospital in Guntur, people who have had chickenpox as a child had a lower risk of developing brain tumors.
What signs and symptoms do you have if you have a brain tumor?
The symptoms of a brain tumor vary depending on the tumor location and size. Some tumors infiltrate brain tissue and inflict direct injury, while others put pressure on the surrounding brain. When a growing tumor puts pressure on your brain tissue, you’ll experience symptoms.
A typical sign of a brain tumor is headaches. You might have headaches that:
- Are worse first thing in the morning
- Take place while you’re sleeping
- Are aggravated by coughing, sneezing, or physical activity
You may also encounter:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Double vision or hazy vision
- Convulsions (especially in adults)
- A limb or a portion of the face that is weak
- A change in mental abilities
When it comes to brain tumors, how can you know if you have one?
To answer this question, Dr. Mohana Rao, the chief neurosurgeon at a neurosurgery specialist in Guntur, explains how he diagnoses his patients.
A physical exam and a review of medical history are used to diagnose a brain tumor.
A thorough neurological evaluation is part of the physical examination. But, first, a test is needed to determine whether or not your cranial nerves are healthy. The nerves that originate in your brain are known as cranial nerves.
An ophthalmoscope, which is a device that flashes a light through your pupils and onto your retinas, will be used to examine the inside of your eyes. It will help to see how your pupils react to light as a result of this. It also allows to see directly into your eyes to check for any optic nerve enlargement. Changes in the optic nerve can occur as the pressure inside the skull rises.
The doctor may also assess your:
- Muscular mass and strength
- The ability to perform computations
Following the physical examination, your doctor may order additional testing. These could include the following:
First, a head CT scan is performed.
CT scans allow your doctor to acquire a more detailed picture of your body than an X-ray scanner can provide. It’s possible to do this with or without contrast.
In a CT scan of the head, contrast is created by employing a specific dye that allows doctors to see particular structures, such as blood arteries, more clearly.
MRI scan of the brain
A special dye can be used during a head MRI to assist in detecting malignancies. An MRI differs from a CT scan in that it does not use radiation and typically produces far more detailed images of the brain’s architecture.
A dye is injected into your artery, generally in the groin area, for this investigation. The dye travels to your brain’s arteries. It enables us to see how the tumors’ blood supply appears. This information will come in handy during surgery.
X-rays of the skull
Brain tumors can create breaks or fractures in the bones of the skull, which can be detected with specialized X-rays. Calcium deposits, which are sometimes found within tumors, can also be seen using these X-rays. If your cancer has spread to your bones, calcium deposits may be present in your bloodstream.
During a biopsy, a little bit of the tumor is removed. Then, it will be examined by a specialist known as a neuropathologist. The tumor cells will be tested to see if they are benign or malignant. It will also reveal whether your cancer started in your brain or elsewhere in your body.
Brain tumors and their treatment
The following factors influence the therapy of a brain tumor:
- the tumor’s kind
- the tumor size (in millimeters)
- the tumor’s exact location
- your overall well being
Surgery is the most common treatment for malignant brain tumors. The goal is to remove as much cancer as possible while avoiding damage to the brain’s healthy regions. While the position of some tumors allows for easy and safe excision, the location of others may limit the amount of tumor that can be removed. Even partial brain cancer excision can be advantageous.
Infection and bleeding are two risks of brain surgery. Surgical removal of clinically threatening benign tumors is also performed. Metastatic brain tumors are treated according to original cancer standards.
Other therapies, including radiation therapy and chemotherapy, can be coupled with surgery.
After neurosurgery, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can all help you recover.
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