World Brain Tumour Day Special: Dispelling Some Myths And Misconceptions

4 mins read

Every year on June 8, World Brain Tumor Day is celebrated.

The German Brain Tumor Association initiated this campaign, which is now celebrated globally to raise awareness and educate people about brain tumours. There are many misconceptions and myths concerning brain tumours among the general public, so we’ll use this chance to clarify some of them.

Working with your medical team to establish the best course of therapy for you is critical. In India, the rate of Central Nervous System (CNS) tumours varies between 5 and 10 per 100,000 people.

Tumours in the brain are different from tumours in other parts of the body. Because of the skull, there isn’t much area for it to expand. This means that a developing tumour can suffocate important brain areas, causing major health consequences. Knowing the signs and symptoms of a brain tumour might help you decide whether it’s time to see a doctor.

Where Brain Cancers Start and Spread

A brain tumour is a mass or abnormal cell growth inside the brain.

There are different types of brain tumours. Some of the brain tumours are noncancerous (benign), and others are cancerous (malignant).

Primary brain tumours start in the brain and tend to stay there

Secondary brain tumours are more prevalent than primary brain tumours. These tumours begin elsewhere in the body and spread to the brain. Lung cancer, breast cancer, kidney cancer, colon cancer, and skin cancer are some of the most common tumours that spread to the brain.

Symptoms of Brain Tumour

The symptoms of brain tumours differ depending on the type and location of the tumour. Because different parts of the brain govern different bodily activities, the location of the tumour has an impact on the symptoms you experience.

Some tumours are asymptomatic until they reach a certain size, at which point they cause a serious and quick deterioration in health. Other cancers may have slow-developing symptoms.

Headaches may not get better with the usual headache remedies. Here are some common symptoms:

  • Seizures
  • Changes in speech or hearing
  • Changes in vision
  • Balance problems
  • Problems with walking
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Problems with memory
  • Personality changes
  • Inability to concentrate
  • Weakness in one part of the body
  • Morning vomiting without nausea

How Brain Cancer Is Treated

The treatment depends on the type and grade of cancer, where it’s located, its size, age, and health of the patient.

Surgery is usually the first way to proceed to treatment. For grade 1 tumours (cancer cell grows slowly), surgery may be enough. It is possible that cancer can be removed. But even if it isn’t, the surgery can reduce the size and ease symptoms.

Postoperative, radiation therapy is performed to eliminate any remaining tumour cells. If surgery is not an option, radiation therapy may be your only alternative.

Chemotherapy is sometimes used to eliminate cancer cells in the brain. It’s given by mouth, IV, or, less often, wafers implanted in the brain by a surgeon.

Certain types of brain tumours can be treated with targeted therapy. These drugs target specific components of cancer cells and help in the prevention of tumour growth and dissemination.

Your doctor may also recommend combined therapies.

If you have cancer, it’s important to stick to your treatment plan, work with your doctor, and attend all of your scheduled appointments.

Dr Ajay Reddy

Dr Ajay Reddy is a brain tumour specialist in Hyderabad. Trained in minimally invasive spine surgeries at Yonsi, Seoul, he also holds a fellowship from the Gamma Knife Center and Tokyo Women’s Medical University, Japan.

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