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Brain cancer – Types, symptoms, causes, and management

Brain cancer – Types, symptoms, causes, and management

Although there are various types of brain cancer, not all are malignant. Brain tumors are graded from 0 to 4 based on their behavior, such as their pace of growth and propensity to spread. Regular checkups are essential whether one has a high-grade or low-grade tumor. Brain cancer is identified as a grade 3 or 4 brain tumor. Tumor cells in these tumors proliferate more quickly and are more likely to spread throughout the brain.

Primary brain tumors are one type of brain cancer that starts in the brain and seldom spreads to other body parts. Secondary tumors, also known as metastases, are caused by primary tumors originating in other body parts.

There are two primary categories for the more than 40 major types of brain tumors:

Benign: Benign cancer will develop slowly and will not spread. Meningiomas, neuromas, pituitary tumors, and craniopharyngiomas are common types.

Brain cancer or malignant brain tumors: Malignant brain tumors have the potential to spread to the brain or spinal cord. Common varieties include astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, glioblastomas, and mixed gliomas.

Signs and symptoms
Specific signs and symptoms may be present depending on the size and location of the brain cancer. In addition, the cancer grade, another word for the growth rate of brain cancer, may also influence the severity of the symptoms. General signs and symptoms of brain cancer may include:

Headaches or sinus pressure, especially in the morning
Headaches that occur more frequently and are more severe
Headaches that are often referred to as tension headaches or migraines
Vomiting or nausea
Vision problems like double vision, fuzzy vision, or losing vision to the sides
The loss of sensation or motion in a limb or arm
Experiencing difficulties with balance
Speech problems
Feeling completely exhausted
Memory problems

The symptoms of brain cancers worsen quickly. Early detection improves the prognosis of brain cancer substantially. If one frequently experiences any of the symptoms above or feels that the symptoms are more serious, one must immediately make an appointment with a doctor for a diagnosis.

There is no known cause of brain tumors or cancer. Even though risk factors for brain cancer are not well-recognized than those for other types of cancer, some inherited illnesses and environmental factors may play a role in its development. These causes of brain cancer are as follows:

Immune system deficiency

Families with a history of atypical brain tumors have been genetically linked through inherited illnesses such as Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and neurofibromatosis (NF1 and NF2).

Prior radiation therapy exposure to particular industrial solvents or substances.

Long-term exposure to pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers may increase the probability of developing brain cancer. Often, exposure occurs at work. In addition, those with genetically inherited diseases such as von Hippel-Lindau disease and tuberous sclerosis may be more prone to developing brain tumors. Three out of every five people with brain tumors are men. Brain tumors can occur at any age but are most common in young or middle adulthood.

Treatment alternatives
Brain cancer patients have the following treatment options for brain cancer:

Surgery is performed to remove the entire tumor. However, when the surgeon cannot remove the entire tumor, they remove as much lump as possible to prevent damage to the brain tissue.

Radiation therapy
In radiation therapy for brain tumors, high-beam rays are used to kill cancer cells and prevent them from spreading. Radiation therapy can be used to treat brain cancer and benign brain tumors as well. Doctors recommend radiation therapy when the tumors cannot be surgically removed or if cancer cells are still present after surgery.

Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer prescription treatments to destroy the cancer cells. Doctors generally recommend chemotherapy following surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells that might have been left behind.

Targeted therapy
It is a form of chemotherapy that employs chemicals to target cancerous cells without harming the healthy. Targeted therapy stops cancers from spreading and prevents the growth of new ones. Targeted therapy may target specific pathways or abnormal brain cells implicated in tumor progression.

How to reduce the risk of brain cancer?
There is no way to prevent brain cancer. However, one can reduce the risk by avoiding:
Being exposed to pesticides and insecticides
Exposure to carcinogenic chemicals
Exposure to radiation

Brain cancer exhibits itself in a variety of ways. Asking inquiries and conversing with the patient’s medical team is the most excellent way to learn about a certain cancer kind. There is also a wealth of online information concerning various types of brain cancer. These sources frequently contain more detailed information about pathology, treatments, and support networks for people with brain cancer.