Take a look at all the important points about brain cancer!
Brain cancer means the abnormal growth of brain cells that thrive uncontrollably. Brain cancers are normally brain tumors. Tumors can either be either benign or malignant. When we talk of brain cancer, then we are generally referring to the malignant brain tumors that are excessively aggressive in nature and are likely to spread. These abnormal brain cells tend to destroy the healthy cells and overpower them. Like other normal cells, the tumor cells also require nutrients and blood for survival, thus they take in the essential nutrients and blood needed by the healthy brain cells and also replace them by taking their space.
1 How it affects?
Brain cancer usually refers to a tumor growth that can develop in the brain as well as in the cranial nerves, lymphatic tissues, blood vessels, skull, meninges, pineal glands or pituitary glands. Brain cancer is a life threatening condition mainly due to its infiltrative and invasive nature that it shows in the restricted space that it occupies in the intracranial cavity. The threat level normally depends upon the cancer stage, size of the tumor, the region in which the tumor is developing and the pace at which the tumor is growing. If detected at the right time, brain cancers can be cured with medical treatment.
2 Risk Factor
In most of the cases, the cause of the brain cancer is not known. However, there are certain risk factors that can be held responsible for the occurrence of brain cancer. Knowing the risk factors is very essential as it helps one to go for the diagnosis and treatment at the right time possible. Some of the risk factors are stated below. Let us have a look.
Age – Brain cancers are less common in adults and more common among children. However, it is proven that people of any age group can develop brain cancer.
Gender – Gender-wise, men are slightly at a higher level of risk as compared to women when it comes to acquiring brain cancer. In few cases, it is also observed that a certain kind of brain tumor which is known as meningioma, is more common in females.
Genetic factors – Man brain cancers occur as a result of genetic factors. If there is a family history of brain cancer, then it is possible that the coming generation can also be affected by the disease.
Exposure to harmful substances – If one is exposed to harmful substances such as pesticides, germicides, herbicides, solvents, vinyl chloride, rubber, etc, then he or she is at risk of developing brain cancer.
Substance addiction – Addiction to illicit substances such as cocaine, marijuana, nicotine, heroin, etc increases the risk of acquiring brain cancer.
Ethnicity and racial factors – The white people of the United States are more prone to develop brain cancer than black people. Similarly, people of northern Europe stand at a higher risk than the Japanese race.
Exposure to viruses, infections and allergens – If one has ever been infected with the Epstein Barr virus, then he or she is at risk. Other viruses such as cytomegalovirus and certain allergens also increase the risk of brain cancer.
Electromagnetic field – Exposure to electromagnetic fields, such as exposure to the energy emitted from mobile phones or power lines are found to be a risk factor for causing cancer of the brain.
Ionizing radiation – If someone has undergone a brain or head treatment that involved ionizing radiation such as x-rays, then that increases the risk factor for brain cancer.
N – nitroso compounds – According to some researchers, the N – nitroso compounds which are produced in the body as a result of consumption of cigarette smoke or by the use of cosmetics, etc can cause brain cancer.
Seizures and head injury – Any kind of trauma related to the head can be fatal and can cause brain cancer. A history of seizures also increases the risk.
The common symptoms of brain tumor are listed below:
- Mild or severe headaches
- Seizures or convulsions
- Loss of consciousness
- Jerks, twitches and spasms
- Uncontrollable functions of the body
- Dizziness or drowsiness
- Personality changes
- Speech disorders
- Changed perception of pressure or touch
- Difficulty in looking upward
4 Brain cancer Treatment
In case of most brain tumors, surgery is the first option for removal of the tumor, in case it is possible to conduct the surgery without causing any damage to the tissues of the surrounding area. While in other cases of brain cancer, the tumor may not be operated so early or operation may be totally eliminated from the treatment procedure. Such cases can be treated with radiotherapy or chemotherapy. Sometimes, both radiotherapy and chemotherapy are combined together if required.
5 Control Treatment methods
In certain cases of brain cancer, specific symptom control treatment methods are also adopted in order to control certain symptoms of the disease, for example, anticonvulsants may be given to the patients so that seizures may be controlled. For reducing inflammation of any kind, steroids are also prescribed.
Hope this article helped you with some vital information on brain cancer. Spread the word and help someone in need!