“700,000 people in USA are living with primary brain tumour”

08 June 2021 | Tuesday | Opinion

Every year, 8th of June is commemorated as World Brain Tumor Day. There are numerous myths & misconceptions pertaining to brain tumor among public. Risk factors include exposure to ionizing radiation & family history. Exact cause of brain tumors not identified clearly.
 Source : https://www.agappe.com/

Source : https://www.agappe.com/

Brain tumors originate from the brain itself, or it can be secondary extension from other parts.  Brain tumors in India comes to 5-10 in 100,000 populations & it’s increasing, accounting 2% of malignancies.

Symptoms are nonspecific like headache, seizures, vomiting, fatigue, staggered walk, visual changes, speech deficits. Repeated seizures, headache associated with numbness of the limbs indicate likelihood of brain tumor. A tumor in the brain isn’t like tumors in other parts. It has limited room for growth because of the skull. Growing tumor squeeze vital parts leading to serious health problems. Go for a second opinion before surgery, always. 

Mostly, brain tumor complaints are nonspecific. Early diagnosis facilitates further management easier. Diagnosis is through CT scan/MRI/Biopsy/spinal tap. Treatment of brain tumor includes safe surgical removal of the parts. For malignant tumors, radiotherapy/oral chemotherapy are administered.  

Many brain tumors are benign (harmless) & curable by surgery. In malignant tumors, long-term survival is possible with accurate surgery & further management. Survival rate depends on the age, type of tumour, (benign/malignant), & the extent of the surgical removal. 

Grades of brain tumors: Grade I: Tissue is benign; Grade II: Tissue with earlier malignancy; Grade III: Malignant tissues, cells looking different from normal cells; Grade IV: Malignant tissue has cells looking abnormal & growing quickly.

Tumor surgery is becoming easier with new technologies in monitoring & brain mapping. We can target the infected area with radiosurgery without surgical procedure. However, close association & support from friends & family are adjuvants of best results in tumour patients. 

TAILPIECE: Brain tumour is not a fatal ailment if we can diagnose it earlier. Identification of reliable biomarkers through extensive research will facilitate the early diagnosis of brain tumours in future; many tumour markers are already available in the market for pre-diagnosis of tumours, like PSA-Prostate, CEA-colorectal cancer, CA-125-ovarian cancer, CA-153-breast cancer etc.


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