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Brain Tumour Treatment

A Brain tumour is a collection or mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain. Brain tumours can be both cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). When a malignant tumour or benign tumour grows, they can increase the pressure inside your skull. This can lead to brain damage, and it can be fatal.

Brain tumours can begin in your (primary brain) or cancer can start from other parts of your body and will spread to the brain (secondary, or metastatic, brain tumours). The progression of the brain tumour varies significantly. The growth rate of the tumour as well as the location of the tumour will determine how it will affect the function of your nervous system.

Depending on your brain tumour as well as its size and location, the doctor will advise treatment options. Schedule a visit to your doctor for diagnosis and treatment.

Types of Brain Tumour

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Astrocytoma
  • Brain metastases
  • Choroid plexus carcinoma
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Embryonal tumours
  • Ependymoma
  • Glioblastoma
  • Glioma
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Meningioma
  • Oligodendroglioma
  • Pediatric brain tumours
  • Pineoblastoma
  • Pituitary tumours

Symptoms of a Brain Tumour

Depending on the location and size of the tumour, there are various symptoms attributed to it. Some tumours can cause direct damage to the brain tissue and some tumours generate pressure on the surrounding brain.

Headaches are a frequent occurrence due to brain tumours. You may experience headaches that:

  • while waking up
  • occur while you’re sleeping.
  • occur due to coughing, sneezing, or exercise

 

You may also experience:

  • Vomiting
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Confusion
  • Seizures (especially in adults)
  • The weakness of a limb or part of the face
  • A change in mental functioning

Other common symptoms include:

  • Clumsiness
  • Memory loss
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty writing or reading
  • Changes in the ability to taste, hear, or smell
  • Decreased alertness, which may include drowsiness and loss of consciousness
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Eye problems, such as drooping eyelids and unequal pupils
  • Uncontrollable movements
  • Hand tremors
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Numbness or tingling sensation on one side of the body
  • Trouble in speaking or understanding other people conversations
  • Changes in personality, mood, emotions, and behavior
  • Difficulty walking
  • Weakness in Muscles in the face, arm, or leg

Symptoms of pituitary tumours

  • Nipple discharge, or galactorrhea
  • Lack of menstruation in women
  • Development of breast tissue in men, or gynecomastia
  • Enlargement of the hands and feet
  • Sensitivity to heat or cold
  • Increased amounts of body hair
  • Low blood pressure
  • Obesity
  • Changes in vision, such as blurry vision or tunnel vision

Diagnosing Brain Tumour

The Doctor will diagnose the brain tumour by conducting a physical exam and will take look at your medical history. The physical exam will include a very detailed neurological examination. The doctor will examine cranial nerves to observe if they are intact or not. These are the nerves that originate inside your brain.

  • A neurological exam: The Doctor will conduct a neurological exam that may include, checking your vision, balance, hearing, coordination, strength, and reflexes. Any difficulty in one or more areas may provide clues to the part of the brain which may be affected by Brain Tumour.
  • Imaging tests: To help diagnose brain tumours, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is commonly used. The dye is injected through a vein in your arm during your MRI study to provide detailed pictures of the structures of the brain itself.
  • Collecting and analyzing a sample of abnormal tissue (biopsy): Biopsy is performed to identify if the tumour cells are benign or malignant. A small piece of the tumour is extracted from the brain during a biopsy.
  • CT scan of the head: With the help of a CT scan, the doctor will get a more detailed scan of your body than they could with an X-ray machine.

Treatment of Brain Tumours

The Doctor suggestion of the treatment of a brain tumour depends on:

  • The type of tumour
  • The size of the tumour
  • The location of the tumour
  • Your general health

Following are the treatments:

Surgery: Your surgeon will perform surgery if the brain tumour is located in a place that makes it accessible for operation. If tumours can't be separated from surrounding tissue or they're located near sensitive areas in your brain, the surgery will be deemed risky for you. In this case, the surgeon removes as much of the tumour as is safe.

Radiation therapy: To kill tumour cells, this therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays or protons. When cancer has spread to the brain from some other part of the body and developed multiple tumours in the brain, then whole brain radiation is performed.

Radiosurgery: To kill the tumour cells in a very limited area, radiosurgery uses multiple beams of radiation to give a highly focused form of radiation treatment.

Chemotherapy: To kill tumour cells, drugs are used in Chemotherapy. These drugs can be taken orally in pill form or injected into a vein (intravenously).

Targeted drug therapy: For certain types of brain tumours, targeted therapy drugs are available. By focussing on specific abnormalities present within cancer cells, targeted drug treatments block these abnormalities causing the cancer cells to die.

Rehabilitation after Treatment

After the surgery, consult health care provider continually. Keep up your appointments with your doctor for regular health updates.

 Brain tumours can develop in certain parts of the brain that control motor skills, vision speech, and thinking. Hence, rehabilitation becomes a necessary part of recovery. The doctor may advise you different therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy, andspeech therapy.

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Dr. (Prof) Deepu Banerji

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Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre

34 years of experience 

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Dr. A.K. SINGH

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Max Super Speciality Hospital, Dehradun

Dr. A.K Singh practices as a Director - Mind & Head Neurosurgery at  Max Super Speciality Hospital, Dehradun ..
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Dr. Abhilekh Srivastava

Associate Consultant - Neurology,

Sector B, Pocket 1, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, Vasant Kunj, Delhi 110070