The growth of malignant tumors in the brain and around the structure of the brain is called brain cancer. Certain brain cancers can cause problems associated with vision, thinking, movement, behavior, and emotions. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to symptoms and receive timely treatment.
Brain cancer is very rare. The incidence of central nervous system (CNS) tumors in India is about 5 to 10 per 100,000 people. Nevertheless, it is the second most common cancer occurring in children accounting for almost 26% of childhood cancers.
At HCG Manavata Cancer Center, we have some of the top doctors for brain tumor treatment in Nashik, and they are skilled at treating various types of brain cancer.
Types of Brain Cancer
There are almost 120 types of brain cancer depending on the location and the type of cell they originate from. The most common types of brain cancer are:
- Astrocytoma: This is a type of cancer that develops in the star-shaped cells called astrocytes in the brain.
- Glioma: This type originates in the glial cells of the brain.
- Ganglioglioma: It develops in the neurons and glial cells of the brain and is slow-growing in nature.
- Meningioma: It develops in the lining of the brain called the meninges.
- Craniopharyngioma: This type develops between the pituitary glands and the brain. They are slow-growing and often put pressure on the optic nerve resulting in vision problems.
- Medulloblastoma: This type of brain cancer develops in the brain’s nerve cells.
- Ependymoma: This is a rare type of brain cancer that starts in the brain or spinal cord.
Symptoms of Brain Cancer
The symptoms of brain cancer depend on the location and stage of the condition, such as:
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting
- Memory loss and confusion
- A headache that worsens over time
- Visual disturbances
- Speech difficulties
- Hearing problems
- Behavioral changes
- Difficulty with balancing
- Muscle weakness
- Gradual loss of sensation in the arm or legs
Causes of Brain Cancer
The exact cause of brain cancer is not clear, but many risk factors increase the chances of cancer. These risk factors include:
- Exposure to certain chemicals, such as pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers
- Exposure to ionizing radiations
- Having a personal or family history of brain cancer
- Increasing age
- Long-term smoking
- Having certain infections, such as Mononucleosis or Epstein-Barr virus infection
- Exposure to certain substances such as lead, rubber, plastic, or some textiles
Diagnosis of Brain Cancer
The tests used for the diagnosis of brain cancer are:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging: MRI uses magnetic fields to produce detailed images of the brain to detect brain cancer.
- Biopsy: This is a procedure wherein tissue samples from the brain are examined in the laboratory for the presence of cancerous cells.
- Computerized Tomography: CT scan produces a detailed 3-D image to check for abnormalities or cancer in the brain.
- Positron Emission Tomography: A PET scan produces detailed images of the inside of the brain, which helps the doctors check if there are any cancerous growths present.
- Lumbar Puncture: During this procedure, a sample of cerebrospinal fluid is taken with the help of a needle, and this sample is later examined for the presence of cancer cells.
- Cerebral Angiogram: This technique uses X-rays to produce internal images of the brain.
Treatment for Brain Cancer
HCG Manavata Cancer Center, the best brain cancer hospital in Nashik, houses various treatment modalities that help brain cancer patients in receiving the best treatment and care. Following are the multiple treatment options available for brain cancer management:
Surgery: It is the surgical removal of cancerous cells and nearby surrounding healthy tissue from the brain. It is the first option for treating brain cancer located in a place that is easily accessible during operation. Surgery may also be performed to manage the signs and symptoms of brain cancer. Surgery may be often combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy in order to ensure better quality clinical outcomes.
Radiation Therapy: During radiation therapy, high-energy beams of protons and X-rays are used to kill the cancerous cells. Radiations can be given with the help of the machine or using a radioactive capsule placed near cancer. It is useful for treating cancer that is present near the sensitive area of the brain.
Chemotherapy: It involves the administration of drugs that kill the cancerous cells and prevent them from growing and multiplying. It can be given either orally in the form of pills or intravenously. Usually, a combination of two or more drugs is used.
Targeted Therapy: It blocks the growth and spread of brain cancer by targeting the specific genes, proteins, and tumor environment, which contribute to the survival and growth of cancerous cells.
Tumour Treating Fields: This treatment method uses a portable device that produces electric fields locally or regionally. These electric fields interfere with the rapid cell division of cancerous cells and prevent their growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is it possible to treat brain cancer?
Yes, it is possible to treat brain cancer, thanks to the advancements happening in the field of neurosurgery. In addition, the effectiveness of the treatment depends on the size, location, and stage of the brain cancer.
2. How often does brain cancer cause headaches?
Headache is a common symptom of brain cancer. Some people experience headaches daily, whereas some people do not experience any headaches. The frequency and severity of headaches vary from person to person and stage of cancer. The doctor may prescribe certain medications that can help in managing headaches.
3. Is brain cancer hereditary?
The majority of brain cancers are not hereditary, but it is believed some types of brain cancers are hereditary. For example, in gliomas, there is a 5 % chance of transferring cancer from one generation to another.
4. What are the survival rates for someone diagnosed with brain cancer?
The survival rate depends upon several factors, including the type of brain cancer, age of the patients, and stage of the disease. The disease diagnosed at the advanced stage has a poor prognosis compared to early diagnosis. Therefore, it is important for one to pay attention to symptoms and seek necessary medical attention for timely treatment.