- What Is Brain Cancer
What Is Brain Cancer
Brain cancer is a disease of the brain during which cancer cells (malignant cells) arise in the brain tissue.
Cancer cells grow to create a mass of cancer tissue (tumor) that interferes with brain functions like muscle control, sensation, memory, and other normal body functions.
Tumors composed of cancer cells are known as malignant tumors, and people composed of mainly noncancerous cells are known as benign tumors.
Cancer cells that develop from brain tissue are known as primary brain tumors whereas tumors that spread from other body sites to the brain are termed metastatic or secondary brain tumors.
Statistics suggest that brain cancer happens infrequently (1.4% of all new cancer patients per year), thus it’s not considered to be a common health problem and is probably going to develop in about 23,770 new people each year with about 16,050 deaths as estimated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and also the American Cancer Society.
Only about 5-hitter of brain tumors could also be because of hereditary genetic conditions like neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, and a few others.
Signs & Symptoms Of Brain Cancer
All brain tumors Not cause any symptoms, and a few (such as tumors of the pituitary gland) are usually not found unless a CT scan or MRI is done for another reason.
The brain cancer symptoms are various and not specific to brain tumors, that means they will be caused by many other diseases. the only thanks to understand for sure what’s causing the symptoms is to undergo diagnostic testing. Symptoms may be caused by:
⇒ The Parts Of Brain Is pressed by tumour and keeping them from Working normally.
⇒ Swelling in the brain caused by the tumor or surrounding puffiness.
Both Primary and metastatic brain cancers Cause Similar Symptoms.
The following symptoms are most common :
⇒ blurry vision
⇒ a change in a person’s alertness
⇒ mental capacity reduction and/or confusion,
⇒ memory problems
⇒ changes in speech, such as difficulty speaking, impaired voice, or inability to speak
⇒ weakness on one side of the body
⇒ coordination problems
⇒ pins and needles sensations and/or reduced sensation of touch
Grades And Types Of Brain Cancer
Brain tumors vary in their rate of growth and ability to cause symptoms. The cells in quick growing, aggressive tumors typically seem abnormal microscopically. The National Cancer Institute (NCI) uses a grading system to classify tumors. The NCI lists the following grades:
Grade I: The tissue is benign. The cells look nearly like normal brain cells, and that they grow slowly.
Grade II: The tissue is malignant. The cells look less like normal cells than do the cells in a grade I tumor.
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Grade III: The malignant tissue has cells that look very different from normal cells. The abnormal cells are actively growing and have a clearly abnormal look (anaplastic).
Grade IV: The malignant tissue has cells that look most abnormal and have a tendency to grow quickly.
Primary Brain Cancers
The brain is made of many different kinds of cells.
Some brain cancers occur when one sort of cell transforms from its normal characteristics. Once transformed, the cells grow and multiply in abnormal ways.As these abnormal cells grow, they become a mass, or tumor.
The brain tumors that result are called primary brain tumors because they originate within the brain.
The most common primary brain tumors are gliomas, meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, vestibular schwannomas, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (medulloblastomas). The term glioma includes glioblastomas, astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, and ependymomas.
Most of those are named after the a part of the brain or the type of brain cell from that they arise.
Metastatic Brain Cancer
Cancer cells that develop in a body organ like the lung (primary cancer tissue type) can spread To different body organs Like Brain, via direct extension, or through the lymphatic system and/or through the blood.
Tumors formed by such cancer cells that spread (metastasize) to different organs are known as metastatic tumors.
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metastatic brain cancer is a Tumor that originated in another body organ Like lung and has spread into the brain tissue.
metastatic tumors in the brain are more common than primary brain tumors. they’re usually named after the tissue or organ where the cancer initial developed (for example, metastatic lung or breast cancer tumors in the brain, that are the most common varieties found).
often, an abbreviated name is also used that always confuses people; for instance, “small cell brain cancer” truly means that “small cell lung cancer that has metastasized to the brain.” people should not hesitate to ask their doctor concerning any terms they do not understand or regarding the origin of their cancer.
Cause Of Brain Cancer
As with tumors elsewhere within the body, the exact reason for most brain cancer is unknown.
Data gathered by research scientists show that people with sure risk factors are more possible to develop brain cancer.
Individuals with risk factors, like having employment in an oil refinery, handlers of jet fuel or chemicals like benzene, chemists, embalmers, or rubber-industry staff, show higher rates of brain cancer than the overall population.
Some families have many members with brain cancer, however heredity (genetic passage of traits from parents to children) as a cause for brain tumors has not been tested.
other risk factors like smoking, radiation exposure, and infection (HIV) are recommended however not proven to cause brain cancer.
there’s no smart proof that brain cancer is contagious, caused by head trauma, or caused by telephone use.
though several lay press and internet articles claim that aspartame (an artificial sweetener) causes brain cancer, the Food and Drug Administration maintains that it doesn’t cause brain cancer and base their findings on over 100 toxicological and clinical studies relating to the sweetener’s safety.
Is Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer?
The primary concern with cellphones and cancer looks to be the development of brain tumors related to cellphone use. Some research suggests a small increase within the rate of brain tumors since the 1970s, however cellphones weren’t in use throughout the 1970s.
Instead, the increase is brain cancer rate is associated with other factors — like increased access to treatment and improvements in diagnostic imaging.
So what have researchers learned regarding cellphones and cancer? Here’s an outline of varied studies:
⇒ In one study, Researchers found no proof of a link between cellphones and brain tumors that followed over 420,000 cellphone users over a 20-year period.
⇒ Another study found an association between cellphones and cancer of the salivary glands. However, only a small number of study participants had malignant tumors.
⇒ Another study advised a possible increased risk of brain tumor — a specific kind of tumor — for the heaviest cellphone users, however no increase in tumor risk overall.
After evaluating many studies on the possibility of a connection between cellphones and brain tumor and a noncancerous brain tumor called acoustic neuroma, members of the International Agency for research on Cancer — Member World Health Organization (WHO)— agreed that there is Very Less proof that cellphone radiation may be a cancer-causing agent (carcinogenic).
As a result, the group classified radiofrequency electromagnetic fields as probably carcinogenic to people.
Still, a series of recent studies can’t tell the whole story. It usually takes a few years between the utilization of a new cancer-causing agent — like tobacco — and also the observation of a rise in cancer rates. At this point, it’s possible that too little time has passed to discover a rise in cancer rates directly due to cellphone use.
A neurological exam – A neurologic examination could include, among other things, checking your vision, hearing, balance, coordination, strength and reflexes.
Problem in one or more areas could give clues about the part of your brain that might be full of a brain tumor.
Imaging tests – magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is often used to facilitate diagnose brain tumors. In some cases a dye could also be injected through a vein in your arm throughout your MRI study.
a number of specialised MRI scan elements — as well as functional mri, introduction mri and magnetic resonance spectroscopy — could facilitate your doctor judge the tumor and set up treatment.
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other imaging tests could include computerized tomography (CT) scan and positron emission tomography (PET).
Tests to seek out cancer in different parts of your body – your doctor could suggest tests and procedures to determine where the cancer originated, If it’s suspected that your brain tumor is also a result of cancer that has spread from another area of your body. One example could be a CT scan of the chest to look for signs of lung cancer.
Collecting and testing a sample of abnormal tissue (biopsy) – A biopsy are often performed as a part of an operation to get rid of the brain tumor, or a biopsy are often performed using a needle.
A stereotactic needle biopsy is also done for brain tumors in hard to reach areas or very sensitive areas inside your brain that may be broken by a more extensive operation. Your neurosurgeon drills a small hole into your skull. a skinny needle is then inserted through the opening. Tissue is removed using the needle, that is often guided by CT or MRI scanning.
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The biopsy sample is then viewed below a magnifier to determine if it’s cancerous or benign. This information is vital to determine a diagnosis and prognosis and, most significantly, in guiding treatment.
Brain Cancer Treatment
Treatment for a brain tumor differs depending on many factors: an individual’s age, general health, and the size, location, and type of tumor.
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You and your loved ones can have several questions about brain cancer, the treatment, side effects, and also the long-term outlook. Your health care team is the best source of this information. don’t hesitate to ask.
Brain Cancer Surgery
Many people with a brain tumour undergo surgery.
⇒ the aim of surgery is to verify that the abnormality seen throughout testing is indeed a tumor and to get rid of the tumor. If the tumor can not be removed, the doctor can take a sample of the tumor to identify its type.
⇒ In some cases, mostly in benign tumors, symptoms can be fully cured by surgical removal of the tumor. The neurosurgeon can attempt to take away all the tumor when possible.
You may undergo many treatments and procedures before surgery. For example:
⇒ you’ll be given a steroid drug, like dexamethasone (Decadron), to relieve swelling.
⇒ you’ll be treated with an anticonvulsant drug to relieve or prevent seizures.
⇒ If you have got excess body fluid collecting around the brain, a thin, plastic tube known as a shunt is also placed to drain the fluid. One end of the shunt is placed within the cavity where fluid collects; the other end is rib under your skin to a different part of the body. The fluid drains from the brain to a site from which the fluid can be easily eliminated.
Brain Cancer surgery carries risks like infection and bleeding. other risks may depend on the a part of your brain where your tumor is located. for example, surgery on a tumor close to nerves that connect with your eyes may carry a risk of vision loss.
Radiation therapy (also known as radiotherapy) is the use of high-energy rays to kills tumor cells, thereby stopping them from growing and multiplying.
⇒ radiation therapy could be used for people who cannot endure surgery. In other cases, it’s used after surgery to kill any tumor cells which will remain.
⇒ Radiation Therapy could be a local therapy. this implies that it affects only cells in its path. It generally doesn’t hurt cells elsewhere within the body or perhaps elsewhere in the brain.
Radiation will be given in the following ways:
⇒ External radiation uses a high-energy beam of radiation targeted at the tumor.
To Reach to the tumor the beam of radiation is travels through the skin, the skull, healthy brain tissue, and other tissues. The treatments are usually given 5 days a week for a particular amount of time. every treatment takes only a few minutes.
⇒ A small radioactive capsule is used in Internal or implant radiation that’s placed in the tumor itself. The radiation emitted from the capsule destroys the tumor.
The radioactivity of the capsule decreases slightly bit daily and is carefully calculated to run out when the optimum dose has been given. you need to remain in the hospital for several days while receiving this treatment.
⇒ Stereotactic radiosurgery is usually known as a “knifeless” surgical technique, although it doesn’t involve surgery.
It destroys a brain tumor without opening the skull. A CT or MRI scan is used to pinpoint the precise location of the tumor in the brain. one giant dose of high-energy radiation beams are trained on the tumor from different angles.
The radiation destroys the tumor. Stereotactic radiosurgery has fewer complications than open surgery and a shorter recovery time.
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Side effects of radiation therapy rely on the type and dose of radiation you receive. Common side effects during or instantly following radiation include fatigue, headaches and scalp irritation.
Chemotherapy for Brain Cancer
Chemotherapy is the use of powerful medicine to kill tumor cells.
⇒ one drug or a combination of drugs may be used.
⇒ The medicine are given orally or through an IV line. Some medications are given through the shunt put in place to empty excess fluid from the brain.
⇒ Chemotherapy is usually given in cycles. A cycle consists of a short period of intensive treatment followed by a period of rest and recovery. every cycle lasts a few weeks.
⇒ Most regimens are designed in order that two to four cycles are completed. there is then a break in the treatment to see how your tumor has responded to the chemotherapy.
The side effects of therapy are well known. they will be very difficult to tolerate for a few individuals. they will include nausea and vomiting, mouth sores, loss of appetite, loss of hair, among others. a number of these side effects will be relieved or improved by medication.
Targeted drug therapy
Targeted drug treatments focus on specific abnormalities present among cancer cells. By block these abnormalities, targeted drug treatments will cause cancer cells to die.
One targeted drug therapy used to treat a type of brain cancer known as glioblastoma is bevacizumab (Avastin). This drug, given through a vein (intravenously), stops the formation of new blood vessels, taking off blood supply to a tumor and killing the tumor cells.
The targeted drug everolimus (Afinitor) is used to treat a benign brain tumor that happens in individuals with a genetic defect known as tuberous sclerosis. Everolimus blocks an enzyme in the body that plays a role in the growth of cancer cells.