A brain tumor is a condition that is caused when abnormal cells in the brain grow within the brain or the spinal cord. It can be life threatening because it can disrupt brain functioning. There are two types of brain tumors, ones that are benign (cancerous) and the other malignant (malignant). The life expectancy varies depending upon the stage of the cancer.
Benign Tumor – This tumor grows slowly and does not spread to other tissues, thus is not cancerous in nature.
Malignant Tumor – This tumor grows very fast and contains cancerous cells that invade other parts of the brain and is considered to be life-threatening condition.
Brain Tumors are also classified as primary and secondary tumors depending on their origin. If the tumor starts in the brain it is known as primary tumor and if it originates from some other part of the body, it is known as a secondary or metastatic tumor.
The symptoms of a brain tumor depend upon the type of tumor and the origin of it. The symptoms are mild initially and gradually increase. Sometimes there may be no symptoms at all. Some common symptoms –
A headache that persists
Nausea, vomiting, and drowsiness
Seizures or convulsions
Diagnosis involves various tests to be carried out including the following-
EEG – An electroencephalogram is used to record brain activities for abnormalities if any using electrodes that are attached to the head.
CT Scan – It gives a detailed X ray picture of the patient’s brain
MRI Scan – It makes use of magnetic field as well as radio waves and provides a detailed image of the brain
Even biopsy is used to further confirm the presence of a tumor.
The treatment depends on the diagnosis. It includes factors like the type of tumor, the age of the patient, size of the tumor, tolerance levels of the patient to name a few.
Surgery – The first course of treatment for Cancer starts with surgery and removal of the tumor or a part of it as much as possible. Due care is taken to avoid any harm to the neighboring tissues. The remaining tumor is removed with the help of various cancer therapies.
Chemotherapy – Chemotherapy is used for treating a serious type of malignant tumor. It stops the cells from multiplying or duplicating.
Radiation Therapy – Radiotherapy uses intense energy beams to destroy the tumor and prevent it from growing. It attacks the tumor cells, leading to shrinkage in the tumor, which can further be managed using an immune system of a person.
Radio Surgery – Also known as stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), this treatment involves giving a targeted and precise dose in the form of an X-ray radiation.
Risk Factors – There is no definite reason behind brain tumors. It might be hereditary but in rare cases. The only risk factor associated with the brain tumor is radiation exposure.
Survival – The survival rate post the diagnosis also depends on a lot of factors but for malignant tumors of a primary type, the 5-year survival rate is even less than 35%.
RRMCH is one the best hospitals in Bangalore and amongst the best Neuro hospitals in India. Equipped with the latest in Medical Technology, it also offers the expertise of the best neurologist in Bangalore.