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Brain tumor

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MRI of a person's brain who has a brain tumor.

Brain Tumors can be defined as an abnormal growth of cells inside the brain or skull; some are benign, others malignant. They can be divided into two main branches known as primary (which originates in brain) and secondary (which starts in the body and spreads to the brain). There are over 120 types of brain tumor including Astrocytoma, Oligodendroglioma, Ependymoma, and much more. They are located all over the brain from the frontal, parietal, temporal and occipital lobes. The type, size, and location of the tumor affects what symptoms can be felt, the common causes of that tumor, what prevention measure you can take, and the treatment that doctor uses remove the tumor. The Brain Tumor is an important problem to understand. [1].

Symptoms and Causes

The frontal lobe

Brain Tumors, as mentioned in the introduction, can be divided into many different types. Some of the brain tumors, for example, Acoustic neuroma, is a non cancerous brain tumor that grow rapidly in the brain. Medulloblastoma, a cancerous brain tumor, do not spread to the rest of the body. The type of brain tumor, how fast it spreads, and the location of it changes the symptoms and causes. If the brain tumor is located in the frontal lobe as seen in the image common symptoms include personality change, loss of smell, agitation, or weakness on one side of the body. If the brain tumor is located in the parietal lobe common symptoms are difficulty with speaking, reading/writing and loss of feeling in certain parts of the body. When you have the symptoms listed above for Brain Tumor, immediately contact your doctor so that it will have less of a chance of spreading throughout the rest of the body.[2]. Generally speaking all tumors contain these symptoms: Headaches that appears on and off as well as in the morning, loss of balance which include muscle weakness and loss of sensation in your arms. Loss of vision such as the peripheral, double vision, and sleepiness. Seizures in which someone can not breath for thirty seconds and has different shade of skin. These seizures can happen to anyone even if it is not have a family history of seizures. Once you have seen these symptoms immediately contact your doctor to make sure the problem is treated before the brain tumor gets worse. [3] [4]

Causes and Prevention

MRI of a Gliomas

Now that we understand what signs and symptoms cause brain tumors, we can look at what causes these symptoms and how can someone protect themselves from brain tumors. Like the symptoms of brain tumors, much of the causes depends upon what type of brain tumor you have. For example if someone has a Primary brain tumor often cells will divide and grow at an increased and abnormal rate. This increase of abnormal cells creates a brain tumor. Common types of primary brain tumors include Gliomas as seen in the image (located in brain or spinal cord), Acoustic neuromas (develop on the nerves), Medulloblastomas (starts in the lower back part of brain spreads through spinal fluids) and more. The second type known as secondary brain tumors are much more common the primary brain tumors. They are cancer that start elsewhere in the body and eventually end up in the brain. These include breast, kidney, lung and colon cancer [3]. Besides the spreading of cancer into the brain some other cause of brain tumor include age (higher risk if you are older), Gender (more common in males than female), Genetics and more. In the past several years cell phones have been determined as a cause of Brain Tumors but there has not been any evidence to suggest that. [5]. The most proven prevention of brain tumors is limiting the amount of radiation exposure to the brain. Learning the causes and prevention helps everyone avoid having a brain tumor.

Diagnosis and Treatments

Machine used for Radiation Therapy

If you discover that you have similar symptoms to the ones described earlier your doctor may use these diagnosis to determine if you truly have a brain tumor. The first one is a neurological exam which looks at the vision, hearing, balance and strength. Weakness in any of these areas helps doctors determine where in the brain the tumor could be located. If you believe you have secondary brain tumors, which originate in other parts of the body and eventually end up in the brain, doctors may use a CT or PET scan to look for signs like lung cancer in the body. Once doctors have determined a person has a brain tumor have three different ways of treating it; the procedure each individual takes depends on their age, preference, and the location of brain tumor. The first option is surgery; Surgery can be done on people who have their tumors located at an accessible position. The easier it is to access the more they can remove. When tumors are located around the tissue of the brain, doctors have an easier time with removing much of the tumor, but when it's located around the nerves for example it can be a serious risk. That is why doctors try to even remove the slightest amounts of the tumor because it will help reduce the symptoms of brain tumors. Another reason they remove parts include trying a biopsy. Biopsy is done so pathologist can determine what cells it contains which help doctor better understand which route to take in order to solving the problem. The second option is Radiation Therapy or radiotherapy which is defined as the use of high-powered rays to damaged cancer cells to stop them from growing. This machine is seen on the image. This method is most often used when surgery cannot remove the tumor, or kill any cell remains after surgery. Doctors may use external radiation to focus on a particular part of the brain or the entire brain, this is often used if you have secondary brain tumor. A stereotactic radiosurgery is another type of radiation therapy which focus on just one part or target; this method is known to be effective and not damage brain tissue. The final option is to use chemotherapy, which is the use of drugs to kill the cell. Doctors may use a combination of drugs or just one in a pill form. The drug may be swallowed or injected into the vessel. Risks to exist for chemotherapy as large amounts of drugs may increase side effects of hair loss or vomiting. The diagnosis and Treatments of brain tumors are important to understand. [6]. [7].

Video

What are Brain Tumors?

Other Cancers

References

  1. Brain tumors: an introduction Mayfield Clinic. Web. Accessed May 5, 2019. Unknown Author
  2. Signs and Symptoms National Brain Tumor Society. Web. Accessed May 5, 2019. Unknown Author
  3. 3.0 3.1 Brain Tumor Mayo Clinic. Web. Accessed May 8, 2019. Unknown Author
  4. Brain Tumor Symptoms Cancer Net. Web. Published March 2019. Unknown Author
  5. Risk factors and causes Macmillan. Web. Accessed May 19, 2019. Unknown Author
  6. Brain Tumor Mayo Clinic. Web. Accessed May 20, 2019. Unknown Author
  7. Brain Tumor Treatment Ucsf Health. Web. Accessed May 20, 2019. Unknown Author