By Dr Vishal Bhasme

Is there a new onset or change in the headache pattern? Do you constantly have the urge to vomit or even feel nauseous? Do you have trouble balancing yourself? Are you often confused or have speech problems? Worried about blurry vision? Then it is a good time to see the doctor as these can be the warning signs of a brain tumor. Here we explain to you what exactly brain tumor is, types, risk factors, diagnosis and treatment.

Did you know? There are different types of brain tumors. Some brain tumors are non-cancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant). It is therefore the need of the hour to detect them as early as possible and to seek an appropriate treatment. In the article below, we tell you all about a brain tumor.

What are Brain Tumors?

A brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in the brain. In India, 40,000 to 50,000 patients are diagnosed with brain tumor every year. Of these, 20 percent are children.

What are the types of brain tumors?

There are many types of brain tumors. Some brain tumors are non-cancerous (benign) and some are cancerous (malignant). Brain tumors can start in the brain (primary brain tumors), or cancer can start in other parts of the body and spread to the brain (secondary or metastatic brain tumors).

What are the most common types of brain tumors?

Metastatic brain tumors, gliomas, meningiomas, pituitary tumors, schwannomas are the most common brain tumors. In adults, secondary brain tumors are more common than primary brain tumors.

What are the risk factors?

In most people with primary brain tumors, the cause of the tumor is not clear. Some risk factors include exposure to radiation, chemicals, or viruses. There are few tumors linked to chromosomal abnormalities.

What are the symptoms of brain tumors?

The sign and symptoms depend on the size, location and rate of growth. General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include new or changed headache pattern, unexplained nausea and vomiting, vision problems such as blurred or double vision, progressive loss sensation or movement in an arm or leg, difficulty with balance, difficulty speaking, changes in personality or behavior, fits or fits, hearing problems, etc.

How do you diagnose a brain tumor?

History and neurological examination can provide clues to the diagnosis. Imaging tests like CT scans and brain MRIs are commonly used to diagnose brain tumors. There are tests to find tumors in other parts of the body like PET-CT to look for the primary tumor.

what is the treatement?

Treatment for a brain tumor depends on the type, size, and location of the tumor, as well as general health and preferences. Surgery is the usual first treatment for most brain tumors. The main goal of surgery is to remove as many tumors as possible, with complete removal the best. Radiation therapy can be given after surgical removal of the tumor or directly as a primary therapy in some tumors. Chemotherapy may be given in some cases.

What is the prognosis or survival?

Benign tumors with complete removal have an excellent prognosis. Surgical removal with or without radiation therapy helps increase survival rates in many cancerous brain tumors without compromising quality of life. With microneurosurgery, advanced technology and surgery success rate has improved dramatically nowadays with decreased complications, morbidity and mortality. Thus, brain tumors should not be considered “death on diagnosis”.

Dr Vishal Bhasme, neurosurgeon, Lokmanya hospital, Pune

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