Brain Cancer

What is Brain Cancer?

Brain cancer like any other tissue in the body is made up of individual cells which are very small and require a microscope to see them. These cells are the smallest units which together compose the brain. A brain cancer can arise from any of the cells which make up the brain. In brief, Brain cancers are abnormal growth of cells in the brain.

Although such abnormal growth is known as brain tumours, not all brain tumours are cancerous.

Types of Brain Tumour

Types of Brain Tumour include: primary and metastatic brain tumours.

Primary Brain Tumour

As these abnormal cells grow they become a mass or a tumour.

Brain tumour that results from the transformation and abnormal growth of cells are called primary brain tumour because they originate in the brain. The most common primary tumours are gliomas, pituitary adenomas and primitive neuroectodermal.

Metastatic Brain Tumour

The metastatic brain tumour is made of cancerous cells from the tumour elsewhere within the body. The cells spread across brain from another tumour in a process called metastasis.

What causes brain cancer?

The exact causes of the brain cancer is unknown. The possible genetic factors, environmental toxins, radiation, and cigarette smoking have all been linked to cancers of the brain. The following have been positively linked as the primary cause of the brain tumour but is not known for sure.

  • Radiation to the head
  • Certain inheritance
  • HIV infection

Symptoms of Brain Tumors?

Not all the brain tumours cause symptoms but some such as tumours of pituitary gland are found mainly after certain death. Symptoms are numerous but are not sure to be related to brain tumours. The only possible way to detect brain tumour is to undergo diagnostic testing.

Some symptoms are caused by swelling of brain caused by tumour or other surrounding inflammation.

Other common symptoms are:

  • Headache
  • Weakness
  • Clumsiness
  • Difficult in walking

Other nonspecific symptoms are:

  • Altered mental status – Changes in concentration, attention or memory
  • Nausea and vomiting – usually in the morning
  • Difficult with vision and speech

Brain Cancer Treatment options?

Treatment for brain cancer can be as follows:

Surgery – it is the treatment of choice for accessible primary brain tumours. The main reason for surgery is to remove as much of the tumour as possible without damaging normal brain tissue. Removal is often difficult depends on the nature of the tumour and also by its location. Partial removal of the tumour can improve quality of life but together with radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

Radiation therapy – It is done when the entire primary tumour cannot be surgically removed. The most malignant brain tumour are treated with external-beam radiation even if entire primary tumour is surgically removed, because hidden tumour cells often remains in the brain tissue.

Brachy therapy – It involves implanting capsules that contains radioactive substance into the tumour to produce local radiation. It is frequently used to treat recurrent disease in an area previously treated with external-beam radiation.

And the other possible treatment for brain cancer could be Chemotherapy. Thus brain cancer can be effectively treated with regular follow-ups with doctors and early detection of the brain cancer.