Whenever we talk about brain tumors, dark clouds of anxiety seem to cover our minds. It’s a life-threatening disease for sure. Every year, lots of people are diagnosed with a brain tumor. And do you know one important thing? Most of them detect the tumour when it has already reached an advanced state. And once the stage escalates, it’s very difficult to get rid of the tumor. Therefore, you should stay careful and always prefer consulting a doctor as soon as you notice any early symptoms of a brain tumor.
In this case, it’s interesting to note that most people often overlook some of the major symptoms of a brain tumor. But before discussing the symptoms, we must briefly discuss with you the basic facts about a brain tumor.
Brain Tumor Overview
A brain tumor is the collection of abnormal cells that start showing up in your brain. The skull is very rigid. The growth of anything inside a restricted space such as inside of the skull can cause problems. Brain tumors vary between being cancerous (malignant) and noncancerous (benign). When such tumors grow, they increase the pressure inside your skull. As a result, the threat of brain damage becomes higher and also arouses a life-threat.
Brain tumors can be categorized as follows:
- Primary Brain Tumors: The primary brain tumor originates inside the brain, and most of these tumors are benign.
- Secondary Brain Tumor: The secondary brain tumor, also called a Metastatic brain tumor, comes into existence when the cancer cells spread from other organs into the brain. For example, a tumor in the breast or lungs might spread into the brain. In that case, it would be termed as a secondary or metastatic brain tumor.
- Glioma: This type of tumors originate from the glial cells.
Apart from these main types of brain tumors, there are others in existence also. They are mentioned as follows:
- Acoustic neuroma
- Brain metastases
- Choroid plexus carcinoma
- Embryonal tumors
- Pediatric brain tumors
- Pituitary tumors
Symptoms of Brain Tumor
The symptoms of brain tumour might often vary based on several factors, such as its location, growth rate, and size. But most times, patients overlook some of the early signs of a tumor. Here are the main symptoms of a brain tumor that you must not overlook:
- Changing pattern of headaches: Often, people overlook this experience. They consider a headache to be a normal problem that cures with time. But when the pattern of headache keeps changing over time, it’s generally a red flag. Such aches would gradually become more severe and much more frequent.
- Unexplained nausea: Even people with no past history of nausea would face such trouble. Unexpected vomiting is also common during the early stages of a brain tumor.
- Vision problems: When you have developed a brain tumor, the first thing that you would experience is a blurred vision. The loss of peripheral vision is also a common affair for patients affected by a brain tumor.
- A gradual loss of sensation in arms or legs: Our brain is responsible for all our body movements, as it sends signals to the different organs. But with a brain tumor growing inside the skulls, you’ll gradually experience a loss of movement in any of your arms or legs.
- Difficulty with balance: Our brain is responsible for making us able to maintain our body balance. But with a brain tumor obstructing the brain functions, one might experience some difficulties with balance.
- Speech difficulties and hearing problems: When someone develops a brain tumor, they find it difficult to hear properly and even speak freely, as something feels like obstructing their ability to undergo a two-way communication.
Diagnosing a brain tumor starts with your doctor conducting a physical exam and verifying your medical history. A detailed neurological examination should be conducted. The doctor would verify whether your cranial nerves are intact. The doctors mainly evaluate your ability to calculate basic mathematical problems. This is done to figure out if your coordination is working fine. Here are some medical tests that doctors might ask you to undergo.
- CT Scan
- Skull X-Ray
Treatment options for Brain Tumor
Several factors, such as the type, size, and location of the tumor and your overall health, play important roles in determining the specific treatment option.
Surgery is the most common treatment option for malignant brain tumors. The overall aim is to remove the maximum amount of cancer from your body without leading to any damage to the brain’s healthy parts. Some locations in the brain allow easy and safe removal of tumors, while others seem dangerous to be removed. Partial brain tumor removal is also a common practice. Consulting your doctor would give you a fair idea about the best practice that you must adopt for the treatment of your brain tumor.