A brain tumor is an intra-cranial, solid abnormal growth of cells within the brain, meninges or the spinal cord.
Benign brain tumors do not contain cancer cells. Cells from benign tumors do not invade tissues around them or spread to other parts of the body. However, benign tumors can compress the adjacent brain tissues and nerves, causing serious neurological deficits. A benign brain tumor may rarely become malignant.
Malignant brain tumors contain cancer cells and are mostly lethal. They grow at a faster rate and have risk for metastasis. Malignant brain tumors may sometimes covered by a layer of tissues and such tumors are termed as encapsulated brain tumors.
Based on the site involved, tumors are termed as
Pituitary adenomas (15%)
Nerve sheath tumors (8%)
Brain tumors arise due to many reasons.
1) Mutation of tumor suppressor genes due to radiation exposure
2) Lymphomas associated with Epstein-Barr virus infection
3) Exposure to chemicals such as vinyl chloride
4) Inherited conditions like neurofibromatosis, Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Turcot syndrome.
Signs and symptoms:
1) Headache of sudden onset
2) Neck stiffness or neurological dysfunction
3) Early morning vomiting
4) Weakness in one part of the body
6) Changes in the person’s mental function
7) Disorientation and other behavioral changes
8) Dizziness or abnormal sensation of movement (vertigo)
9) Loss of balance and coordination
10) Confusion or memory loss
11) Vision blurring.
1) Thorough history collection and clinical examination.
2) CT scan of the brain
3) MRI scan of the brain
4) Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) examination
5) CT-guided biopsy and cytology
6) Histo-pathological examination of part of growth removed by surgery.
2) Radiation therapy
It also involves the supportive treatment using corticosteroids, Anticonvulsants, sedatives, pain relieving medications, medicines to control stress ulcers etc.
Active support of research and an increased interdisciplinary collaboration have a key role in developing new therapies and improve the prognosis. Until that, it is every ones' responsibility to support the suffering for a productive life.