A primary brain tumour is a tumour that starts in the brain. A primary brain tumour is often described as ``low grade`` or ``high grade.`` A low-grade tumour generally grows slowly, but it can turn into a high-grade tumour. A high-grade tumour is more likely to grow faster. In adults, secondary brain tumours, also called brain metastases, are much more common than primary tumours.
Symptoms of a brain tumour can be general or specific. A general symptom is caused by the pressure of the tumour on the brain or spinal cord. Specific symptoms are caused when a specific part of the brain is not working well because of the tumour. Many people with a brain tumour are diagnosed when they visit to the doctor after experiencing a problem, such as a headache or other bodily changes.
Types of Brain Tumor:
Primary brain tumors :
Primary brain tumors originate in your brain. They can develop from your:
- brain cells
- the membranes that surround your brain, which are called meninges
- nerve cells
Primary tumors can be benign or cancerous. In adults, the most common types of brain tumors are gliomas and meningiomas.
Gliomas are tumors that develop from glial cells. These cells normally:
- support the structure of your central nervous system
- provide nutrition to your central nervous system
- clean cellular waste
- break down dead neurons
Gliomas can develop from different types of glial cells.
The types of tumors that begin in glial cells are:
- astrocytic tumors such as astrocytomas, which originate in the cerebrum
- oligodendroglial tumors, which are often found in the frontal temporal lobes
- glioblastomas, which originate in the supportive brain tissue and are the most aggressive type
Other primary brain tumors:
Other primary brain tumors include:
- pituitary tumors, which are usually benign
- pineal gland tumors, which can be benign or malignant
- ependymomas, which are usually benign
- craniopharyngiomas, which occur mostly in children and are benign but can have clinical symptoms like changes in vision and premature puberty
- primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphomas, which are malignant
- primary germ cell tumors of the brain, which can be benign or malignant
- meningiomas, which originate in the meninges
- schwannomas, which originate in cells that produce the protective cover of your nerves (myelin sheath) called Schwann cells
Family history: Only about 5 to 10 percent of all cancers are genetically inherited, or hereditary. It’s rare for a brain tumor to be genetically inherited. Talk to your doctor if several people in your family have been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Your doctor can recommend a genetic counselor for you.
Age: Risk for most types of brain tumors increases with age.
Race: Brain tumors in general are more common among Caucasians. However, African-American people are more likely to get meningiomas.
Chemical exposure: Being exposed to certain chemicals, such as those you might find in a work environment, can increase your risk for brain cancer. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and HealthTrusted Source keeps a list of potential cancer-causing chemicals found in work places.
Exposure to radiation: People who have been exposed to ionizing radiation have an increased risk of brain tumors. You can be exposed to ionizing radiation through high-radiation cancer therapies. You can also be exposed to radiation from nuclear fallout. The nuclear power plant incidents in Fukushima and Chernobyl are examples of how people can be exposed to ionizing radiation.
Signs and symptoms:
Symptoms of brain tumors depend on the location and size of the tumor. Some tumors cause direct damage by invading brain tissue and some tumors cause pressure on the surrounding brain. You’ll have noticeable symptoms when a growing tumor is putting pressure on your brain tissue. Headaches are a common symptom of a brain tumor. You may experience headaches that:
- are worse in the morning when waking up
- occur while you’re sleeping
- are made worse by coughing, sneezing, or exercise
You may also experience:
- blurred vision or double vision
- seizures (especially in adults)
- weakness of a limb or part of the face
- a change in mental functioning
Other common symptoms include:
- memory loss
- difficulty writing or reading
- changes in the ability to hear, taste, or smell
- decreased alertness, which may include drowsiness and loss of consciousness
- difficulty swallowing
- dizziness or vertigo
- eye problems, such as drooping eyelids and unequal pupils
- uncontrollable movements
- and tremors
- loss of balance
- loss of bladder or bowel control
Diagnosis: The physical exam includes a very detailed neurological examination. Your doctor will conduct a test to see if your cranial nerves are intact. Tests like Neurological examination MRI CT scan, Angiogram. These are the nerves that originate in your brain. The doctor may also evaluate your:
- muscle strength
- ability to do mathematical calculations
The treatment of a brain tumor depends on:
- the type of tumor
- the size of the tumor
- the location of the tumor
- your general health
The most common treatment for malignant brain tumors is surgery. The goal is to remove as much of the cancer as possible without causing damage to the healthy parts of the brain. While the location of some tumors allows for easy and safe removal, other tumors may be located in an area that limits how much of the tumor can be removed. Even partial removal of brain cancer can be beneficial.
Risks of brain surgery include infection and bleeding. Clinically dangerous benign tumors are also surgically removed. Metastatic brain tumors are treated according to guidelines for the type of original cancer. Surgery can be combined with other treatments, such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can help you to recover after neurosurgery.
Brain tumor surgery can cause problems with thoughts, feelings and behaviors. After surgery, the patient may need help in recovering with physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech therapists. The recovery period may vary ranging from 4-6 weeks to approximately 6 months.
Brain Tumor Treatment cost in India ranges between USD 6500 to USD 7500 and investigation may cost upto USD 500-1000