World Brain Tumor Day – June 8
Every year June 8th is celebrated as world Brain tumor day. This day was initiated by German Brain tumor Association in the year 2000 with the aim to spread awareness about this lethal disease like brain tumor. Several researches have been going on for the treatment of Brain tumors.
The brain is a soft, spongy mass of tissue. It is protected by the bones of the skull and three thin membranes called meninges. A network of nerves carries messages back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body. The brain directs the things we choose to do (like walking and talking) and the things our body does without thinking (like breathing). The brain is also in charge of our senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell), memory, emotions, and personality. So without brain human can not live.
Cancer begins in cells, the building blocks that make up tissues. Tissues make up the organs of the body. Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. New cells form when the body does not need them, and old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.
Brain tumors can be benign or malignant:
- Benign brain tumors do not contain cancer cells:
- Usually, benign tumors can be removed, and they seldom grow back.
- Cells from benign tumors do not invade tissues around them or spread to other parts of the body. However, benign tumors can press on sensitive areas of the brain and cause serious health problems.
- Unlike benign tumors in most other parts of the body, benign brain tumors are sometimes life threatening.
- Very rarely, a benign brain tumor may become malignant.
iv. Malignant brain tumors contain cancer cells:
- Malignant brain tumors are generally more serious and often are life threatening.
- They are likely to grow rapidly and crowd or invade the surrounding healthy brain tissue.
- Very rarely, cancer cells may break away from a malignant brain tumor and spread to other parts of the brain, to the spinal cord, or even to other parts of the body. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.
- Sometimes, a malignant tumor does not extend into healthy tissue. The tumor may be contained within a layer of tissue. Or the bones of the skull or another structure in the head may confine it. This kind of tumor is called encapsulated.
- Lymphomas that begin in the brain in people with a weakened immune system are sometimes linked to the Epstein-Barr virus.
- Exposure to radiation at work or to power lines, as well as head injuries, smoking, and hormone replacement therapy has NOT been proven to be risk factors.
- Radiation therapy to the brain, used to treat brain cancers, increases the risk for brain tumors up to 20 or 30 years afterwards.
- The risk of using cell phones is hotly debated. However, most recent studies have found that cell phones, cordless phones, and wireless devices are safe and do not increase the risk.
- Some inherited conditions increase the risk of brain tumors, including neurofibromatosis, Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Turcot syndrome.
- Headaches and sometimes hand tremors
- Weakness in one part of the body
- Seizures (especially in older adults)
- Changes in the person’s mental function
- Change in alertness (including sleepiness, unconsciousness, and coma)
- Dizziness or abnormal sensation of movement (vertigo)
- Loss of balance and coordination
- Confusion or memory loss and eye problems
The following tests may confirm the presence of a brain tumor and find its location:
- CT scan of the head
- MRI of the head
- Examination of the cerebral spinal fluid (CSF)
- Examination of tissue removed from the tumor during surgery or CT-guided biopsy
Treatment can involve surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Other medications used to treat primary brain tumors in children like Dexamethasone, Anticonvulsants, Pain medications and Antacids or histamine blockers to control stress ulcers.
- Return of tumor growth
- Side effects of medications, including chemotherapy
- Side effects of radiation treatments
- Loss of ability to interact or function properly.