A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cells that grows in or around the brain. Brain tumors, either malignant or benign, can begin in your brain, or in other parts of your body and spread to your brain. They can directly or indirectly damage your health brain cells. Brain tumors have different impacts on the function of your nervous system, depending on their growth rate and locations.
In the United States, nearly 40,000 people are diagnosed with brain tumor each year. And approximately 60 percent of all brain tumors discovered are cancerous ones.
The exact cause of brain cancer remains unknown.
However, some factors are found to have close relations with brain cancer. including:
- a family history of brain cancer
- increased age
- exposure to radiation. pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer
- a weakened immune system
- certain types of cancer that can spread to the brain from a part of your body
- an Epstein-Barr virus infection, or mononucleosis
- long-term smoking
The symptoms of
a brain tumor vary greatly and depend on the brain tumor’s size, location and
rate of growth.
of brain tumors may include:
- frequent headaches
- unexplained vomiting, with or without nausea
- vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
- impaired thinking, mental confusion, or even coma
- a lack of coordination and balance
- difficulty walking
- abnormal eye movements
- muscle jerking and twitching
- weakness or unsteadiness
- paralysis on one side of the body
- speech difficulty
- memory loss
- loss of the sense of smell or hearing
- personality change
Tests and procedures to diagnose a brain
tumor in a suspected patient include:
- A neurological exam
exam helps to check your vision, hearing, balance, coordination, strength and
- Imaging tests
Effective imaging tests normally include magnetic
resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) and positron emission
A biopsy is performed to collect and test a sample of abnormal brain tissue, either as a part of an operation, or with a needle.
Brain tumors are
typically treated with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or some
combination of these three methods.
The most common treatment is surgery. During
the process of a surgery, brain tumor may be removed completely or partially
without hurting important brain tissue.
When a surgery fails to remove a brain tumor, radiation therapy is used to
destroy tumor tissue.
Chemotherapy involves using drugs to kill cancer cells. These
drugs are taken orally or injected into a blood vessel or muscle.
- Other therapies
Physical therapy, occupational therapy,
and speech therapy can help you to recover after neurosurgery.
Keywords: brain tumor.