A brain tumor refers to an abnormal growth of cells in the brain leading to a mass or lump formation in or around it. This mass formation inside the head affects the brain’s functioning and could be life-threatening. The chances of a person developing a brain tumor in their life are less than 1%. Brain tumors are the most common central nervous system tumors, accounting for 85–90%.
Types of Brain Tumor
Brain tumors could be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Based on their origin, brain tumors can be classified as:
- Primary brain tumors: These tumors start in the brain and could be low-grade (slow-growing) or high grade (fast-growing).
- Secondary brain tumors: These tumors originate in other body organs (lungs, breast, kidney, etc.) and spread to the brain.
Alternatively, brain tumors are classified as gliomas and non-gliomas.
- Gliomas originate from glial cells of the brain and are the most common brain tumors.
- Non-gliomas originate from cells other than glial cells and are less common.
Causes of Brain Tumor
Brain tumors could be caused by the following:
- Change in genes or mutations
- Exposure to radiation such as radiotherapy (cancer treatment), X-rays, or working in strong electromagnetic fields
- Hereditary factor: Approximately 5% of the brain tumors are inherited
- Head injuries or history of head surgeries
- Metastasis of tumor from other body organs
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Tumor
Signs and symptoms of brain tumor include:
- Headaches that are more frequent and tend to worsen
- Vision changes
- Speech or hearing impairment
- Memory impairment
- Personality changes
- Fatigue Loss of control Disorientation
- Walking troubles
- Sleep issues
- Weakness or numbness in a specific body part
- Inability to concentrate
- Nausea or vomiting
- Balance disorder
Risk Factors of Brain Tumor
- Age: Children and the elderly are at increased risk
- Sex: Males are more likely to develop a brain tumor than females
- Exposure to harmful substances such as rubber, pesticides, solvents, vinyl chloride, etc.
- Family history
- History of infections, allergies, or viral infections
- Race and ethnicity: White people are more prone to it than black people
- Exposure to radiations and electromagnetic fields
- Use of N-nitroso compounds in diet or supplements
- Head injury
- History of seizures
Diagnosis and Tests of Brain Tumor
The doctors diagnose brain tumors by enquiring about the patient’s medical history, signs, symptoms, and physical examination followed by some imaging tests, and/or biopsy (tissue sampling), etc.
Various diagnostic tests include:
This is done to obtain detailed pictures of the various parts of the brain to identify the affected area.
Tissue sampling is done for the final diagnosis and to identify the brain tumor’s cells, tissues, and type.
In addition, various confirmatory tests could be recommended, such as:
Specialists who treat brain tumors are called surgical neuro-oncologists.
Brain Tumor Treatment and Care
Treatment will depend on the age, gender, type of tumor, area affected, stage of the tumor, and the patient’s overall health condition.
Surgery to remove the brain tumor is the preferred choice in treating brain tumors. Complete surgical removal involves removing the tumor entirely without damaging brain tissue. However, if the tumor is located in a significant area of the brain, or if the removal would critically harm the patient, partially removing it is preferable.
Chemotherapy or Radiation Therapy
For tumors that are extremely difficult to remove surgically, chemotherapy or radiation therapy is more suitable. Stereotactic radiosurgery and targeted therapy to the affected area are the latest advancements in brain tumor treatment.
Medications like steroids, anticonvulsants, and pain medication could be prescribed to reduce pain, swelling, and seizures. In addition, various therapies like physiotherapy, speech therapy, and occupational therapy for managing daily activities can be recommended. Your doctor might also recommend lifestyle modifications such as following an exercise regime and diet plan to regain strength and quick recovery.
How Much Does It Cost To Treat A Brain Tumor?
Brain tumor treatment cost in India depends on:
The type of treatment
Patient’s age and health condition
Complications after the surgery
Category of room opted for
Charges of anaesthesiologist, dietician and other staff
Besides the surgery fee, brain tumor treatment costs could also include the expenses for immunotherapy, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and any other additional treatment required.
If you want to get an average estimate, discuss it with your Brain Tumor doctor, who could give you a clear picture of what to expect.
Our BLK-Max Medical Experts
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