As the world observes World Brain Tumour Day on June 08, 2016 let us take a look at this life threatening condition. This day was formed as a tribute to all brain tumour patients and their families. Many NGOs around the world work towards the much needed support required for brain tumour patients. The key goal is to seek a cure for brain tumour. Many health professionals and scientists are also involved in this.
We all know why the brain is so important for us. We are just nothing without our brain. The brain directs the basic 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.
A network of nerves carries messages back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body. Some nerves go directly from the brain to the eyes, ears, and other parts of the head. Other nerves run through the spinal cord to connect the brain with the other parts of the body. Hence any kind of brain damage can cause a havoc in your daily life.
Some facts about brain tumours:
- They can occur at any age.
- The exact cause of brain tumours is not clear.
- Primary brain tumours can be either malignant (cancerous) or benign (non cancerous). A primary brain tumour is a tumour which begins in the brain.
- If a cancerous tumour which starts elsewhere in the body sends cells which end up growing in the brain, such tumours are then called secondary or metastatic brain tumours.
- The symptoms of brain tumours depend on their size, type, and location.
Some symptoms of Brain tumours:
- Headache , numbness or tingling in the arms or legs are some common symptoms
- Seizures, memory problems; mood and personality changes; balance and walking problems nauseaand vomiting;changes in speech, vision, or hearing are also some symptoms.
- Brain tumours are generally grouped by grades. The higher the grade number, the more abnormal the cells appear and the more aggressively the tumour usually behaves.
Some risk factors for tumours:
- It is believed that ionizing radiation from high dose x-rays (such as radiation therapy from a large machine aimed at the head) and other sources can cause cell damage that leads to a tumour.
- It is rare for brain tumours to run in a family. Only a very small number of families have several members with brain tumours.
- Researchers are studying whether using cell phones, having had a head injury, or having been exposed to certain chemicals at work or to magnetic fields are important risk factors.
There are various treatment options available. The earlier the detection the better are the chances of survival. Many patients opt for surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy or a combination of treatments. It is best to consult a specialist who can give correct guidance depending on the type of tumour, size and the age of the patient.