Brain Cancer (Brain Tumor)
Cancer of the brain,like elsewhere in the body, is an abnormal growth of brain cells, whichcontinues to increase in size and forms a tumor. Such abnormal mass of cells creates pressureon the surrounding normal brain and give rise to symptoms and signs.
ALL BRAIN TUMORS ARENOT CANCERS BUT ALL BRAIN CANCERS FORM TUMORS IN BRAIN
Why does cancer occurs?
The exact reason forcancer to develop is still not very clear.
Gene Mutations are animportant factor. Almost all cancers show one or the other genetic mutations
Brain cancer isunderstood to not develop from smoking tobacco, eating different kind of foods,exposure to excessive sun light, stress etc.
Brain cancer ofchildhood and adult age are different. In childhood, they are more aggressiveand rapidly growing whereas tumors of adult age are slow growing.
Most common complaints /Signs
Loss of consciousness/Loss of sensation
Weakness in hands orfeet
Loss of vision /hearing / smell
Imbalance on walking
Some times the patientsmay not show any signs or symptoms at all and tumors may be discoveredincidentally.
How does a doctor find out about the tumor?
When the patientapproaches a doctor, they ask questions pertaining the patients complaints andcarry out an examination. This gives them some idea about the possibility of atumor. To confirm their doubts they may ask for a CT SCAN / MRI SCAN.
Thought CT scan gives afair idea about the diagnosis but MRI with contrast is the most informative andappropriate investigation module. MRI creates a very good picture of brain andthe tumor. After looking at these pictures the doctor can tell that anoperation is required to remove the tumor. They can plan the operation withmaximum safety to the normal brain.
How is the right doctor to treat brain tumors?
A NEUROSURGEON is themost appropriate doctor to see, diagnose and operate upon the brain tumor.However for a successful treatment of brain cancer the expertise of otherspecialist doctors like Pathologist, Imagiologist and Oncologist. Also duringthe operation, an Anesthesiologist is a very important part of team. Theyensure patient’s optimization during the surgery.
Treatment after theoperation!!!!
Operation for removalof tumor is one part of the treatment. Once your doctor has performed theoperation the tumor is subjected for pathological examination in laboratory toascertain the extent of disease. Results of this test may take few days tocome.
Brain cancers can begraded from grade 1 (mild disease) to grade 4 (advance disease). These are alsograded as low grade (1 & 2) and high grade (3 & 4). For high-gradecancers additional treatment in the form of radiation and chemotherapy ismandatory.
It is important tounderstand that brain cancers are an aggressive disease but timelyidentification and treatment leads to satisfactory disease control andreasonable quality of life.
Please approach yourdoctor to know more about the recent developments in treatment of braincancers.