World Brain Tumor Day
Let's explore the significance of World Brain Tumor Day 2023
World Brain Tumor Day serves as a platform to increase public consciousness about brain tumors. It encourages individuals to recognize the signs and symptoms, understand the risk factors, and promote early detection. The day highlights the challenges faced by brain tumor patients and their families.
Together We Stand, Stronger Than a Brain Tumor
Brain tumors are relatively rare compared to other types of cancers. According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), brain tumors account for approximately 2% of all cancers in the country. It is estimated that around 30,000 new cases of brain tumors are diagnosed in India each year. Brain tumors can affect individuals of all ages, but certain types may be more prevalent in specific age groups. In India, brain tumors are known to occur in both children and adults. Certain types of brain tumors such as medulloblastomas, are more commonly diagnosed in children, and so it is ranked the second leading cause of cancer-related death in children globally. Let us unite together for the future of healing on World Brain Tumor Day 2023.
Defining About Brain Tumor
A brain tumor refers to an abnormal growth of cells in the brain. It can develop in different parts of the brain or its surrounding tissues. Brain tumors can be benign (noncancerous tumour) or malignant (cancerous), and they can interfere with normal brain functions. Understanding the nature of brain tumors and their impact on health is crucial for early detection, diagnosis, and effective treatment.
Types of Brain Tumors: Primary and Secondary.
- Primary brain tumors are those that originate in the brain tissue itself. Some common types of primary brain tumors include pituitary adenomas, medulloblastomas and meningiomas.
- Secondary brain tumors are also known as metastatic brain tumors. This condition occurs when cancer cells break away from the primary tumor, travel through the bloodstream or lymphatic system, and establish new tumors in the brain.
Warning Signs And Symptoms Of Brain Tumor:
Asymptomatic brain tumour is the initial stage of development. But once the symptoms are noticeable, the tumor grows faster and exert pressure on surrounding brain tissue and leads to various symptoms.
- Changes in behaviour
- Paralysis (Paralysis in one part or one side of the body)
- Loss of consciousness or balance
- Blurred vision
- Vomiting, swallowing difficulties
- Confused mindset
- Lack of interest
- Loss of smell and hearing
- Facial numbness
Causes of Brain Tumors:
- Genetic factors
- Radiation exposure
- Family history
- Exposure to certain chemicals (vinyl chloride, formaldehyde, pesticides)
Diagnostic Procedure Of Brain Tumor:
When a brain tumor is suspected, doctors begin with a neurological and physical examination to evaluate the patient's symptoms and medical history. This examination helps to assess any abnormalities or signs that may indicate the presence of a brain tumor. After the initial examination, if a brain tumor is suspected, further diagnostic procedures are conducted to confirm the diagnosis.
- Physical Examination: A doctor may look for physical signs that may suggest the presence of a brain tumor, such as abnormal eye movements, changes in pupil size or reactivity, issues with coordination or balance, abnormal muscle tone, or other neurological abnormalities.
- Imaging Tests: Imaging techniques such as MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and CT (Computed Tomography) scans are used to visualize the brain and detect the presence of tumors. These tests provide detailed images of the brain structures and can help identify the location, size, and characteristics of the tumor.
- Biopsy: It mainly involves the removal of a small sample of the tumor tissue for examination under a microscope. It is performed through a surgical procedure, either through open surgery or a minimally invasive procedure such as a stereotactic biopsy. This procedure he;ps in determining the type of tumor and its grade.
- Spinal Tap (Lumbar Puncture): A spinal tap is a procedure where a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is collected from the lower back using a thin needle. The CSF sample is then analyzed for the presence of tumor cells, infection, or other abnormalities. This procedure helps in diagnosing certain types of brain tumors, assessing intracranial pressure, and ruling out other conditions.
- Neurologic Exam: This test is performed to assess hearing, alertness, vision, muscle strength, coordination, reflexes, and other neurological functions. It helps in evaluating the impact of the brain tumor on the nervous system.
Few Suggestions To Prevent Brain Tumour:
- Protect your head from Traumatic Brain injuries (TBIs), sometimes this condition increases the chance of developing brain tumours. To minimize this, wear protective gear during activities that carry a high risk of head injury, such as contact sports or riding a bike or motorcycle. It is always advised to practise safe driving habits, use seat belts and child car seats properly.
- Reduce overall exposure to radiation, most importantly high levels of radiation exposure, such as from radiation therapy for other cancers or prolonged exposure to ionizing radiation, as these factors have been associated with brain tumour conditions.
- Regular Health Check-ups are mandatory and screenings may also help in the early detection of certain conditions that could contribute to the development of brain tumours.
Spreading Hope And Support To Brain Tumor Fighters
By coming together on this day, we can work towards a future where brain tumors are better understood, effectively treated, and ultimately cured. World Brain Tumor Day 2023 reminds us of the importance of unity, compassion, and relentless efforts in improving the lives of individuals battling brain tumors, as we strive for a world free from the burdens of this condition.
"Strength doesn't come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn't."