World Brain Tumor Day is observed every year on the 8th of June. The day was first marked by German Brain Tumor Association, a charitable organization, in the year 2000 to spread the awareness about the lethal disease among the general public. The nonprofit, Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe, was created in 1998 and has more than 500 registered members from fourteen countries. It offers support to the patients and their family members besides scientists and health experts.
What is Brain Tumor?
Before appreciating what brain tumor is, it’s important to learn about tumor first. A tumor is essentially an abnormal lump or growth of cells. In the body, there are primarily two main types of tumors: benign and malignant.
If the cells in the tumor are normal, it is benign; this means something wrong occurred and the cells overgrew and produced a lump. If the cells are anomalous and start rising irrepressibly, then they are cancerous cells, and the tumor is malignant. A brain tumor happens when anomalous cells produce within any part of the brain. The tumor can be benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous).
Causes of Brain Cancer
It’s still not known why exactly brain tumor occurs; however, a number of doctors believe exposure to radiations for a long time can cause the disease. Some also believe that devices like mobile phones are causing several types of cancers including brain tumor; however, the fact needs to be backed by scientific evidence. Many types of research into this field are still ongoing.
Symptoms of Brain Tumor
Some of the common symptoms of brain tumor include:
- Headaches, which may be severe and degenerate with activity
- Personality or memory changes
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sleep problems
- Memory problems
Mental changes may be also observed. Occasionally the individual may also feel trouble walking, speaking and sensation.
Diagnosis of Brain Tumor
Depending upon the symptoms and history, doctors can use various tests to diagnose the disease. These include:
MRI and CT scan: These imaging techniques may be highly effective in diagnosing brain tumor.
Angiogram: This is another effective imaging technique. In this test, a dye is injected into the bloodstream. If a tumor exists, then the image may show the tumor or blood vessels that are filling into the tumor.
Neurologic exam: This test includes testing of hearing, attentiveness, vision, muscle strength, coordination, and reflexes.
Spinal tap: In this technique known as lumbar puncture, a sample of cerebrospinal fluid is collected with the help of a long thin needle.
Treatments for Brain Tumor
Depending upon the type, stage, condition and location of the tumors, the following treatments may be suggested.
• Surgery: It is the first step in the treatment of both benign and principal malignant brain tumors and is done on the patient to eliminate the maximum tumor so as to endure neurological function.
• Radiotherapy: In this procedure, cells are exposed to high energy beams of radiation.
• Chemotherapy: In this treatment, anti-cancer medicines are provided to body to kill cancer cells.
• Steroids: These are regularly used for the treatment of brain tumors.
• Ventricular peritoneal shunt: This process is used to drain surplus fluid from inside the brain.
According to research, most of the patients suffering from brain tumor die within a few months and less than 3pc survive more than 3 years. So, it is crucial to create awareness among the people about the life-threatening disease. And the World Tumor Day is a well-thought-out step in that direction.