Know What Brain And Spine Tumours Are
The Central Nervous System (CNS) consists of the brain and the spinal cord. Tumours occurring in the Central Nervous System (CNS) are called CNS tumours, i.e., brain tumours and spinal tumours.
Tumours occurring in the brain are called brain tumors. Brain tumours arise due to uncontrollable abnormal growth of cells, and these abnormal cells grow to form a mass or cluster in the brain known as a tumour.
The brain is responsible for controlling essential body functions such as thoughts, emotions, speech, vision, breathing, movement, etc.
Brain tumors are divided into two categories:
- Primary tumours: These are the tumours that begin in the brain.
- Secondary tumours: These tumors occur in any other body part or organs like the breast or lungs, and then these cancer cells spread into the brain. The secondary tumours are also known as metastatic tumors.
Symptoms Of Brain Tumour
- Frequent headaches that are severe and occur mostly while doing any activity or in the morning
- Nausea and vomiting
- Changes in the vision such as blurred vision or double vision.
- Loss of sensation gradually. Example- movement, bladder control, balance
- Confusion and memory loss
- Feeling fatigued
- Difficulty in hearing and giving a speech
- Seizures (tremors in hands)
- Numbing or tingling sensation on one side of the body
- Mental, physical and emotional changes
- Trouble in walking
- Sleeping issues
- Difficulty making decisions and thinking clearly
- Difficulty in swallowing
Causes Of Brain Cancer
The causes of brain tumours are unknown. However, certain risk factors increase the chances of developing brain tumours. They are:
- Age: although anyone can develop brain tumours, children and the elderly are more at risk
- Exposure to chemicals such as rubber, vinyl chloride, certain solvents, and pesticides increases the risk
- Infections of viruses such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and exposure to allergens
- Exposure to radiation and electromagnetic waves from using excessive cell phones can raise the risk
- History of seizures increases the risk
- Any injury or trauma to the head also is a risk factor
The following tests are done for the diagnosis of a brain tumour:
- Assessment of medical history
- Physical examination
- Imaging tests such as MRI, PET, and CT scans
- X-rays of the skull
- A spinal tap
- Neurological tests
Treatment for brain tumours generally is dependent upon the size, spread, and location of the tumour. The following treatments are given depending on the condition alone or in combination. They are:
- Radiation therapy
- Targeted drug therapy
- Laser thermal ablation
What Is Spine Tumour?
A spinal tumor is a type of tumor occurring in the spinal canal or within the bones of the spine. A spinal cord tumor, also known as the intradural tumor, occurs either in the spinal cord or in the spinal cord covering Dura. A tumor occurring in the bones of the spine is known as a vertebral tumor.
Symptoms Of Spine Tumour
Symptoms of spine tumour depend upon the location, spread and the size of the tumor. In early stages, there are no symptoms visible. However, as the tumor progresses, symptoms become more prevalent. The various symptoms of spine tumour are:
- Pain: It is the most common symptom. Pain is usually experienced at the site of the tumor or to a larger area, pain in the back and neck
- Tingling or numbing in the chest, arms and legs
- Loss of sensation in the legs and hands
- Loss of sensitivity to heat and cold
- Mild to severe weakness in muscles
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Twitching or spasms in muscles
- Pain in the back that is severe in the night
- Walking difficulty, may lead to falling
- Stiffness in the neck and back
- Paralysis due to suppression of nerves by the tumor
Causes Of Spine Tumour
The causes behind spine tumour are not yet clear. In most cases, spine tumours are caused as a result of metastasis, that is the tumor spreads from other body parts to the spine. There are certain risk factors that are said to be associated with spine tumour. They are:
- Gene defects
- Hereditary conditions such as Neurofibromatosis 2, Von Hippel-Lindau disease
- Weakened Immune system
Diagnostic Tests For Spine Tumour
The following tests are done for the diagnosis of a spine tumour.
- Imaging tests: Imaging tests such as MRIs, CT scan, Spine X-rays, bone scans
- Blood tests
Treatment For Spine Tumour
- Stereotactic radiosurgery
- Monitoring of tumor