Brain tumor are abnormal growths of cells in the brain.Primary brain tumors originate in the brain.brain tumors tend to grow very quickly.Many different types of brain tumors exist. Some brain tumors are noncancerous (benign), and some brain tumors are cancerous (malignant).Cancers that have spread to the brain from other locations in the body are known as brain metastases which can be a single tumor or multiple tumors.
Brain Cancer Causes and Risk Factors
Causes and Risk factors for brain cancer may vary. The cause of brain cancer is still largely unknown.Cancer in another part of your body is also a risk factor. though certain factors may increase the risk. which include:
- Older age
- long-term cigarette smoking
- Chemical exposure: such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer
- Inherited disorder: Von Hippel-Lindau disease, Li-Fraumeni syndrome and Neurofibromatosis also incrase the risk of developing the brain cancer.
- Infection: having an Epstein-Barr virus infection, or mononucleosis
Previous treatments: Exposure to radiation therapy
Brain cancer symptoms
- Nausea or vomiting
- Memory loss
- Muscle weakness
- difficulty in speech(Aphasia)
- difficulty thinking
- vision problems
- personality changes
- Unexplained tiredness
- irregular menstrual cycle
- Impotence or infertility
- Overproduction or underproduction of breast milk
- Cushing’s syndrome (weight gain)
- High blood pressure(Hypertension)
- syncope(Temporary loss of consciousness)
- numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
Brain Cancer Types
- Glioblastoma multiforme ( glioblastoma)
- Mixed gliomas
- pituitary tumor
- Germ cell tumors
- Pineal region tumors
- Primary CNS lymphomas
Diagnosis of Brain Cancer
If you have symptoms of a brain tumor, your doctor may perform one of the following to make a diagnosis.
It’s helpful for measuring the hormone level.
In Neurological exam doctor examine following patterns including:
- Balance and coordination
- Eye movement and vision
- Senses of hearing and touch (temperature and vibration sensation), if needed
- Cognition, including memory and abstract thinking
- Muscle strength
which is a procedure that collects a small sample of the fluid that surrounds your brain and spinal cord, to check for cancer cells
This is performed under general anesthesia by a surgeon, who will remove a sample of the tissue or whole tumor for examination under a microscope. A biopsy that is not done correctly may cause the cancer to spread.
Angiography is an imaging test that uses X-rays to view your body’s blood vessels.It may be used to plan the surgical resection of a tumor near an area of the brain with many blood vessels.
MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)
A magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is an imaging test that uses powerful magnetic forces, radiofrequency (RF) waves and a computer to make detailed 3-dimensional pictures of the organs, bones and tissues inside your body.
CT Scan (computed tomography scan)
A computed tomography (CT) scan is an imaging test that uses a computer to put a series of x-ray images together to create detailed 3D images of brain, tissues, skull and blood vessels in the body.
PET (positron emission tomography) scan
A positron emission tomography (PET) scan uses radioactive materials called radiopharmaceuticals to look for changes in the metabolic activity of body tissues. A computer analyzes the radioactive patterns and makes 3-D colour images of the area being scanned.
A PET scan may be used to:
- help find out if a tumour is more likely to be cancerous or non-cancerous
- check for small groups of cancer cells
- find out if cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
Brain Cancer Treatments
Various treatments are used to treat brain cancer including:
Surgery is the most common treatment for brain cancer. But surgery are depending on several factors such as patient age, general health, and the size, location, and type of tumor.
Radiation therapy also called radiotherapy.Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment that uses beams of intense energy to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors.Radiation therapy most often uses X-rays, but protons or other types of energy also can be used.
Radiation therap is often used along with chemotherapy.At high doses, radiation therapy kills cancer cells or slows their growth by damaging their DNA. Cancer cells whose DNA is damaged beyond repair stop dividing or die. When the damaged cells die, they are broken down and removed by the body.
it often causes side effects. These are different for each person. Some common side effects are fatigue, dry mouth,nausea, vomiting, pain, and hair loss.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. In general, normal cells grow and die in a controlled way. Cancer cells keep growing without control. It stopping them from spreading, or slowing their growth.
Chemotherapy is often used along with radiation therapy and surgery in treating cancers. It may be used before surgery to shrink a tumor or after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that remain and to prevent the cancer from coming back. Chemotherapy may also be used to relieve symptoms, improve quality of life and extend life for people with advanced cancer
Chemotherapy drugs kill cancer cells, but they can also damage healthy cells.Some common side effects are fatigue, nausea, vomiting, pain, and hair loss.
Targeted Drug Therapy
Targeted drug treatments focus on specific abnormalities present within cancer cells. By blocking these abnormalities, targeted drug treatments can cause cancer cells to die.This treatment is often an option for patients who have a tumor recurrence after previous brain cancer treatments.