A person is considered to have developed brain tumor when there is a vast number of abnormal brain cells in the brain. Brain tumors affect both children and adults but there are not many cases of it. Brain tumor can be either malignant or benign. However, both of these types can be fatal if they are left untreated.
A lot of people are not aware that there are over 140 different brain tumors that a person can end up suffering from. Experts classify these tumor types as either primary or metastatic. The difference is the place of the tumor. Primary tumors develop in the brain and spread to other body parts only in rare cases. On the other hand, metastatic tumors develop elsewhere and spread to the brain.
Brain tumor causes
Doctors are still unsure what the things that cause brain tumors to develop are. There are various risk factors that contribute to that. Some of the most common brain tumor risk factors are exposure to radiation, family history of a specific genetic disorder and a compromised immune system.
Apart from these, there are other causes that are yet to be proven. For instance, the use of cell phones is one such cause.
Symptoms of brain tumors
The symptoms which a person will experience depend on the size of the tumor and the location of it in the brain. One of the most common symptoms of brain tumors are headaches. However, since a headache can mean a lot of different things, muscle weakness or a seizure are more accurate symptoms of brain tumors. Apart from these, a person may experience other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, visual and hearing problems, memory problems, fatigue, increased sleep, personality changes and slower thought process.
Diagnosing brain cancer
If the doctor suspects a brain tumor, he or she will order an MRI. In most cases of brain tumors, there is no need for another test since MRI confirms whether there is a tumor or not.
Brain biopsy will determine whether the tumor is malignant.
Treatment of brain tumors
In most cases of brain tumors, the patient will be treated by a team of medical professionals. This team will consist of a pathologist, neurosurgeon, medical oncologist and a radiation oncologist.
The plan of treatment will depend on the size and the location of the tumor. Some cases require only a surgery but other will require radiation therapy along with the surgery. People should know that there are a lot of side effects that are common with radiation therapy. Chemotherapy is also an option in some cases.