Are you concerned about the signs and symptoms of brain tumours? Do you know what causes them or how to treat them? If not, don’t worry!
In this blog post, we will cover everything you need to know about tumours. From understanding the different types of brain tumours to identifying their common symptoms and exploring the various treatment options available today.
So, whether it’s for yourself, a loved one or just out of curiosity, keep reading to learn all there is to know about these complex conditions impacting many people worldwide.
What is a Brain Tumour?
A brain tumour is also known as an intracranial tumour. It is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in the brain. Intracranial tumours can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). There are many different types of tumours. They are classified by their location in the brain and by the type of cell involved.
Types of Brain Tumours
There are many different types of intracranial tumours. Each one is classified according to the type of cells involved. The most common types of intracranial tumours are:
- Astrocytomas: These tumours arise from star-shaped glial cells called astrocytes. Astrocytomas can be benign (noncancerous) or malignant (cancerous).
- Meningiomas: These tumours develop in the meninges, the thin layers of tissue that cover the brain and spinal cord. Meningiomas are usually benign but can occasionally be cancerous.
- Pituitary Adenomas: These tumours arise from the pituitary gland, a small gland located at the base of the brain that regulates hormone production. Pituitary adenomas can be benign or malignant.
- Craniopharyngiomas: These tumours develop near the pituitary gland. They can affect its function. Craniopharyngiomas are usually benign but can occasionally be cancerous.
Symptoms of Brain Tumours
There are many different symptoms of brain tumours. They vary depending on the size, location, and type of tumour. Some common symptoms include:
- Headaches: This is the most common symptom of a brain tumour. Headaches are often described as dull and constant. They worsen with coughing or straining. They are often worse in the morning and get better as the day goes on.
- Seizures: Seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. They can range from mild to severe. Severe seizures can cause loss of consciousness and convulsions.
- Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are common symptoms of intracranial tumours, especially if the tumour is located in the area of the brain that controls these functions.
- Fatigue: Fatigue is a common symptom of tumours. This is because the tumour can cause increased pressure on the brain leading to fatigue.
- Changes in Vision: Changes in vision can be caused by a tumour pressing on the optic nerve or causing bleeding in the eye. Double vision, blurred vision, or loss of peripheral vision may all be signs of a tumour.
Causes of Brain Tumours
There are many possible causes of brain tumours, though the exact cause is often unknown. Possible causes include:
- Genetic factors
- Radiation exposure
- Certain viruses and chemicals
- Previous cancer in another part of the body
Tumours may also be caused by abnormal cell growth that is not cancerous (benign). These tumours usually don’t spread to other parts of the brain or body. They can often be successfully treated. However, they can still be serious if they grow large and press on vital structures in the brain.
In most cases, the exact cause of a tumour is unknown. However, research has identified several risk factors that may play a role in their development.
Diagnosis of Brain Tumours
There are many different types of intracranial tumours. So the diagnosis process will vary depending on the tumour.
- In general, the process will involve a physical examination, imaging tests, and sometimes a biopsy. The physical examination will help the doctor to rule out other conditions that could be causing the symptoms.
- Imaging tests, such as an MRI or CT scan, will be used to get a detailed look at the brain and see if there is a mass or tumour present.
- Sometimes a biopsy may be needed to confirm the diagnosis. This involves taking a small sample of tissue from the tumour for testing.
Treatment of Brain Tumours
Treatment of brain tumours depends on the type of tumour, its location, and how far it has spread. There are three main types of treatment for tumours: surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
- Surgery is the most common treatment for brain tumours. The goal of surgery is to remove as much of the tumour as possible without damaging healthy tissue. Surgery can be performed using different approaches. This depends on the location and size of the tumour.
- Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. It can be used alone or with surgery or chemotherapy.
- Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells or stop them from growing. Chemotherapy can be given intravenously (through a vein) or taken by mouth in pill form. It is often used in combination with other treatments, such as surgery or radiation therapy.
Prognosis of Brain Tumours
The prognosis of brain tumours depends on several factors. These include the type and location of the tumour, as well as the age and general health of the patient. Treatment options, such as surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, can also affect the prognosis. Certain types of tumours, such as meningiomas and pituitary adenomas, have a much better prognosis with a five-year survival rate of 80 to 95 per cent.
Brain tumours are a serious medical condition. They can have an impact on both physical and mental health. Knowing the causes, symptoms and treatments of tumours is important to detect any potential problems early on. It’s also important to understand how lifestyle choices, such as nutrition and exercise, may influence the development or progression of a tumour so you can make informed decisions about your health care.
If you think you may be at risk of developing a brain tumour, speak to your doctor right away. For all your tumour-related diagnosis requirements, you can rely on us at Metropolis Healthcare. Our extensive network of healthcare labs ensures quick and dependable test results at the best rates. Contact us today to book a slot at your nearest Metropolis Healthcare lab!