A tumor is an abnormal growth of body tissue that can be either cancerous or noncancerous. Tumors form when cells divide and grow excessively in the body. It can occur in any part of the body, but when it happens in the brain it is very much different as the tumor has limited room for growth because of the skull. Because of space restriction, the growing tumor damages the vital brain parts resulting in serious health consequences.
Fundamentals of Brain Tumor
A tumor that starts in the brain is called a primary brain tumor. Brain tumor can affect any individual in any age group, including children too, but they are most common among adults. The tumor can happen in numerous ways and there are more than 130 different types of primary brain tumors.
A brain tumor can be cancerous or non-cancerous. While non-cancerous tumors grow slowly and are less likely to return after treatment, cancerous ones either start in the brain (primary tumors) or reach the brain from elsewhere (secondary tumors/metastatic tumors). These cancerous tumors have a greater chance of reappearing sometime later even after treatment. Also, metastatic tumors are common than primary tumors.
While both primary and metastatic tumors can cause similar symptoms, the actual variation in symptoms occurs depending on the place of origin of the tumor. The symptoms can be drastic or subtle depending on the tumor. Persistent headaches, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, mental or behavioral changes (memory problems or changes in personality), vision and speech problems, progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body are milder symptoms when compared to seizures that should be categorized as a drastic symptom. Sadly, about 3 of every 10 patients with a brain tumour are diagnosed only after they are attacked by a seizure.
Sometimes, there might be no symptom present or it may develop only after a long time. It is better to visit your physician if you are doubtful of any of these symptoms, especially severe and persistent headache. Although severe headache mandatorily does not mean a brain tumour, it is safe to rule out the option. Persistent headache can affect the overall effectiveness of your body as given in the website www.firsteatright.com.
If in case your physician is unable to identify the exact cause for your problem, he/she might refer you to a neurologist for further assessment.
The primary cause of brain tumour remains unknown but there are numerous risk factors that can cause one. Age, previous cancers, radiation, family history, genetic conditions, HIV and AIDS can lead to a brain tumour.
The treatment options for brain tumour include radiotherapy, surgery, steroids and chemotherapy. The option chosen depends on various factors such as the type of tumour, place of origin of the tumour, size, abnormality of the cells and the overall level of health and fitness.
Treatment usually includes a host of healthcare professionals who do a lot more than simply treat. They try their best to cause minimum impact on a patient’s quality of life.
Successful treatment depends on factors such as the patient’s age, health condition, place of origin in the brain and effective treatment options. Survival rates cannot be predicted as brain tumors are uncommon and occur in more than 130 types.
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Dietitian & Nutritionist Dr. Nafeesa Imteyaz.