Are you suffering from constant headaches, nausea, loss of vision and physical imbalance? If yes, then do not ignore them since the symptoms could indicate brain cancer. If not diagnosed in time, this dangerous disease could prove extremely harmful for an individual. An increasingly erratic lifestyle pattern has made the risk of brain tumor an increasing menace. On the occasion of World Brain Tumor Day 2019, we take a look at everything you need to know about the debilitating disease.
Every year June 8 is observed as World Brain Tumor Day and is aimed at raising awareness about the condition and educating people about this form of cancer. The day also is for those who are suffering from the condition and help them deal with it in a more effective manner.
Brain tumor occurs in the brain cells which multiply in an abnormal way. The tumor can either be benign or malignant. The grade of the tumor is dependent on how fast the cells are multiplying and at what speed they are spreading to adjacent areas. Incidentally, brain tumors are of two types. They are either the primary brain tumor, where the tumor originates from the brain cells or they are the secondary brain tumours, where cancer has originated elsewhere in the body and spread to the brain through the bloodstream.
Causes Of Brain Tumor
While the exact cause is still unknown, children and elderly with certain rare congenital abnormalities like Li-Fraumeni syndrome, tuberous sclerosis. It mostly affects people with disorders of the immune system or auto-immune disorders like AIDS, people who are exposed to X-rays of the head, and people who work in certain industries like oil refining, drug, and rubber manufacturing.
People may suffer from four different types of seizures. These include the Myclonic which is indicated by single or multiple muscle twitches and spasms; the tonic-clonic seizure, where a person may become unconscious and lose bladder control, along with muscle twitching. There may also be a short period when the person's skin may turn purple, gray, white or green. Then there is the sensory seizure, where a person experiences a change in sensation, vision, smell, and hearing without losing consciousness and finally the complex partial seizure, where a person may cause a loss of awareness or partial loss of consciousness.
Further symptoms include memory changes, nausea, fatigue, drowsiness, sleep issues, cognitive issues etc.
Depending on the type of tumor, its location and extent of spread, one can be treated with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. These may be exclusive or in combination.
Speaking about the treatment of brain tumor, Dr. Mathangi J, Senior Consultant & In Charge, Department of Radiation Oncology, BGS Gleneagles Global Hospital, Bengaluru says, “Radiotherapy plays a very important role in the management of brain tumors.”
He further adds, “Apart from few indications, it is not given to the whole brain, but to the tumor. Advances in technology have made it easy to focus only on the tumor and avoid dose to the critical structures and thereby prevent long term side effects.”
According to Dr. Mathangi J, technological advancements like stereotactic radiotherapy, accurate MRI CT fusions, and proton therapy are now being used.
Speaking about the treatment, Dr. Mathangi J adds, “The treatment can see radiotherapy being given as the main treatment, or after surgery if the tumor is not completely removed, or to reduce the risk of the tumor returning or along with chemotherapy.”