The incidence rate of brain tumour is growing, taking a greater toll with each passing year. From symptoms, types, risk factors to treatment, let’s explore all things brain tumour.
Out of 100,000, only 2 Indians are diagnosed with a brain tumour. That accounts for 2% of all the malignancies reported. The incident rate is small though, the mortality rate is staggering. Brain tumour accounted for 24,000 deaths out of 28,000 reported cases, per the IARC report 2018.
Brain tumour is an anomalous cell growth in the brain or spinal cord. The brain tumour is different from a tumour in any other body part. The skull prevents tumour growth, forcing the growing tumour to exert pressure on the surrounding areas. That causes serious health conditions, disabilities, and deaths. The rate of brain tumour growth varies vastly, depending on its type, location, size, severity, and other factors. The brain tumour treatment also varies accordingly.
Brain tumour can be malignant or benign, primary or secondary. A malignant tumour is cancerous, aggressive and disrupts brain function and spreads to other body parts. On the contrary, a benign tumour is non-cancerous, develops slowly, doesn’t spread, and may reoccur. The primary tumour initiates in the brain and the secondary migrates to the brain from other body parts. The primary tumours can be malignant or benign but secondary ones are invariably cancerous.
Primary brain tumours come in all shapes and sizes. The cells involved decide the name.
Both, benign and malignant brain tumours are graded for classification purposes. The grading is done on basis of how the cells appear under the microscope. The grades range from 1 to 4.
Brain tumour can strike anyone at any age, but risk factors are there to increase the risk.
Brain tumours give out certain specific and non-specific symptoms to alert you to the condition. However, some like Pituitary adenomas hardy have warning signs and hence, go unnoticed until death. The symptoms are subject to the size, location and type of tumours present.
Brain tumour diagnosis involves a neurological examination. Here, body functions with a link to brain tumour are examined. That’s typically followed by CT scan, MRI scan and EEG. A biopsy may be requested to establish the presence of the tumour.
The treatment options are varied, including brain tumour operation (surgery) where the tumour is removed partially or fully. Other options include radiation therapy, chemotherapy and Radio-surgery. At times, steroids and anti-seizure medications might be prescribed for symptom relief.
The treatment modality is decided upon factoring in the patient’s age, overall health status, medical history, ability to tolerate specific procedures, nature of the tumour and more.