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Brain Cancer

Brain cancer is the abnormal growth that originates in the brain or it can also be a metastatic tumor that has spread to the brain from distant parts of the body. Brain cancer can occur in any tissue in the skull – the brain, cranial nerves, pituitary gland, meninges or the pineal gland.

Causes of Brain Cancer

  • Ionization Radiation – High doses of rays that cause cell damage leading to a brain tumor
  • Family History – Certain genetic syndromes can put you at a higher risk of brain tumors
  • Long term smoking
  • Prolonged exposure to pesticides, fertilizers, or herbicides
  • Working with elements like lead, plastic, rubber, and petroleum

Symptoms of Brain Cancer

  • Lack of coordination
  • Lack of balance
  • Speech issues
  • Vision problems
  • Abnormal movement of the eyes
  • Muscle twitching and jerking
  • Nausea
  • Severe headaches that worsen in the morning
  • Seizures
  • Numbness in the arms or legs

Prevention of Brain Cancer

  • Avoid radiation therapies
  • Get enough sound sleep – long term disruptions in sleep can increase the risk of brain cancer
  • Avoid tobacco
  • Eat right
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Avid long exposure in the sun
  • Know your family history
  • Get regular health check ups

Diagnosis of Brain Cancer

Some screening tests and procedures might include;

  • Physical exam
  • Eye test
  • Hearing test
  • Checking the balance or coordination
  • Checking the sensations your skin
  • Testing the gag reflexes

Further, imaging for the brain tumour might include the following tests:

  • CT Scan – It creates a 3D picture of the insides of the body using X-Rays
  • MRI – It uses magnetic waves to give a detailed image of the body’s internal parts
  • Biopsy – In this, a sample tissue is removed and is examined under a microscope to see if it is cancerous in nature
  • PET Scan – In this, the patient is injected with a mildly radioactive substance that collects mainly in tumor cells. Then a camera helps to build further information

Treatment of Brain Cancer

  • Surgery – After diagnosis, the surgeon tries to remove the entire tumor during the surgery. If it isn’t possible to remove the tumor, they’ll take a sample of the tumor to identify its type
  • Chemotherapy – It is used to treat high-grade brain cancer in combination with other treatments like surgery or radiation therapy
  • Neurosurgery – It is a specialized type of surgery that is performed on the nervous system particularly the spinal cord and the brain. It aims at removing the entire tumor
  • Radiation therapy – It is the use of high-power beams used to destroy brain tumor cells and relieve the symptoms
  • Targeted Therapy – It is the use of specific drugs that are designed specifically to target the brain tumor cells