10 Brain Tumor Facts That Everyone Needs To Know
The brain is an interesting, important as well as a complicated organ in our body. It controls breathing, temperature, memory, emotion and every process that regulates the body. As it is a significant organ, its diseases can also have a huge impact. Let’s discuss some brain tumor facts that everyone must know
Learn Brain Tumor Facts:
1. Not all brain tumors are cancerous (grow rapidly and spread): Brain tumor is the growth of abnormal cells in the brain. It can form in any part of the brain. Noncancerous brain tumors are known as benign brain tumors, and they typically grow slowly and rarely spread.
Though benign tumors rarely become malignant, they could still be dangerous as they can compress parts of the brain. Some brain tumors could be malignant (cancerous) and invade surrounding brain structures.
2. Not all brain cancers start in the brain: The tumors that begin in the brain are called primary brain tumors. Examples of these tumors are meningioma and glioma. Certain types of tumors originate somewhere else in the body and then spread to the brain. These are called secondary brain tumors as well as metastatic brain tumors.
Secondary brain tumors are around 4 times more common than primary brain tumors. The common cancers which spread to the brain are colon cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, lung cancer, and skin cancer (melanoma).
3. There are more than 120 types of brain tumor depending on the brain tissues affected by the tumor. Meningiomas are the most common primary non-malignant brain tumors, and glioblastoma is the most common primary malignant brain tumor. Glioblastoma is the fast-growing and most aggressive type among all primary brain cancers.
4. Lifetime risk for brain cancer is less than 1%: According to the American Cancer Society, the chance that an individual will develop a malignant tumor of the brain in her/his lifetime is less than one percent.
5. Brain tumor facts (age and gender in tumor): Different brain tumor types affect different age populations. In general, brain tumor is more prevalent in children and individuals aged sixty-five and older. The chance of developing any type of brain tumor is slightly greater in women than men, though the chance of developing a malignant brain tumor is slightly greater in men than women.
6. There is no specific symptom that confirms the brain tumor: Various parts of the brain perform different functions. So, depending on the location of the tumor, the brain symptoms will vary. Persistent headaches, seizures, and difficulty in speaking or listening are common symptoms.
The other possible symptoms are behavior or personality changes, vision changes, loss of hearing, loss of balance, memory loss, confusion, weakness, or numbness in one side or part of the body. The above said symptoms could also be caused by some other health conditions, so consult the physician if any of the symptoms persists.
7. Life-altering brain cancer: More than any other cancer, brain cancers can significantly impair the quality of life. Speech, thought, vision, emotions, and many more important parts of everyday life begin in the brain. Some symptoms such as changes in the ability to hear, see or speak, seizures, etc., have a massive impact on the daily life of brain tumor patients and their family caregivers.
8. Brain tumors are rarely hereditary: We mostly look like our parents. Isn’t it? Because parents are our source of DNA. Likewise, some genetic changes can be passed on in families.
Some inherited conditions which put individuals at higher risk of developing brain tumors are: Neurofibromatosis, Von Hippel-Lindau disease, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Familial adenomatous polyposis, Lynch syndrome, Tuberous sclerosis, and Cowden syndrome. Fewer than 5% of brain tumor cases are linked to genetics.
9. Radiation exposure could increase the brain tumor risk: Radiation exposure, particularly from the previous treatment to head or brain with radiation, has been shown to be a risk factor for tumor in the brain. This happens more often in children who received radiation to their brain as part of their treatment for leukemia (blood cancer). Tumors often appear about ten to fifteen years after the radiation.
10. Surgery, the common treatment for brain tumors: Surgery involves the removal of tumor. It is generally the first treatment used for a tumor in the brain. For some low-grade brain tumors, surgery is often the only treatment needed.
Craniotomy, which involves opening the skull, is the most common surgical approach to brain tumors. Other treatment methods which are used in treating brain tumors include radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.
A brain tumor can dramatically affect a person’s physical and cognitive abilities. The treatment can also have emotional, social and financial effects. Thanks to the advancement in treatment and diagnostic methods, they can largely help with the survival of brain tumor patients. Visit a physician if you experience severe headaches, seizures, or speaking difficulties. Early diagnosis may save your life in an unimaginable way.