World Brain Tumor Day - 8th June
What is a brain tumour ?
A brain tumour is a collection or mass of abnormal cells in the brain. Brain tumours can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous) and they grow increasing the pressure inside the skull causing brain damage and is life threatening. Malignant tumours grow rapidly invading the healthy areas of the brain while, benign tumours not containing cancer cells are usually slow growing.
Types of brain tumours :
Brain tumours are categorized as primary and secondary. The former originates in the brain while, the latter, also known as metastatic brain tumour occurs when cancer cells spread to the brain from another organ such as the lung or breast.
Primary Brain Tumours :
They originate in the brain and can develop from brain cells, the membranes surrounding the brain called meninges, nerve cells, glands like the pituitary or pineal. Primary tumours can be benign or cancerous and the most common types of brain tumours among adults are gliomas and meningiomas. The other types include acoustic neuromas (schwannomas), pituitary adenomas, medulloblastomas, germ cell tumours, pineal gland tumours, ependymomas, central nervous system (CNS) lymphomas and craniopharyngiomas.
Secondary Brain Tumours :
Secondary brain tumours make up for the majority of brain cancers which start in one part of the body and spread, or metastasize to the brain. Secondary brain tumours are always malignant. Most metastatic brain tumours spread from primary cancers in the lung, breast, kidney and skin.
Symptoms of Brain Tumours :
The common symptoms are headaches which get worse on waking up in the morning, while exercising, coughing or sneezing. Headaches are associated with vomiting, blurred vision, seizures, and weakness in the limb or part of the face.
Treatment for a brain tumour depends on the type, size and location of the tumour as well as the overall health of the patient. For a low grade brain tumour, surgery may be the only treatment if the tumour can be removed. In case of visible tumour post surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy is used. Targeted drug therapy is also used for the treatment of brain tumours.
The department of Neurosurgery at Ruby General Hospital has a team of highly competent, dedicated, qualified and experienced neuro surgeons specializing in various types of neurosurgery for comprehensive management of diseases and disorders of the brain, spinal cord, peripheral nerves, cerebrovascular, cranial, skull base surgery, acoustic neuroma surgery, and pituitary surgery.