WORLD BRAIN TUMOR DAY 2022: A brain tumor is characterised by abnormal growth of cells in the brain. Tumours can grow in any part of the brain or skull including the underside of the brain, protective lining, brainstem and nasal cavity among others.
When the tumour grows inside the brain, it puts pressure on that part thus also affecting the body functions that the particular area is responsible for. Researchers have identified more than 120 types of brain tumours which are based on the brain tissue that it impacts.
Brain tumours can be mainly classified into two types, namely benign and malignant tumours. Benign brain tumours are non-cancerous and usually have slow growth. They have distinct and mostly don’t spread to other parts. However, benign tumours can still be dangerous as they compress and damage the part of the brain can result in severe dysfunction. When the tumour grows in a vital part of the brain, it can also be life-threatening for the individual.
Some of the benign brain tumours include vestibular, meningioma, pituitary adenoma, schwannoma, and chondroma.
Malignant brain tumours are cancerous and are characterised by rapid growth. They don’t have distinct boundaries and often invade other healthy parts if the brain. It can be life-threatening as it causes harms the vital structures of the brain. Some of the cancerous brain tumours include medulloblastoma, chondrosarcoma, and olfactory neuroblastoma.
Not all brain tumours have symptoms. Meningioma, which is the most common brain tumour in adults usually grows slow and goes unnoticed. But, there are still some symptoms that one can watch out for. These symptoms depend upon the size of the tumours, the area it affects and how fast it is growing. Some are listed below.
- Difficulty thinking
- Loss of hearing
- Memory loss
- Confusion and disorientation
- Personality or behaviour changes
- Loss of balance or dizziness
Doctors diagnose brain tumours through neurological examination, biopsy, and brain scans. The most commonly used method to treat brain tumours is surgery. However, there are other options as well.
- Anti-seizure medication
- Ventricular peritoneal shunt
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