Brain cancer or tumors is an abnormal growth of cells in the brain. Malignant tumors can grow and spread aggressively to distant parts of the body as well. Tumors that do not spread or invade nearby tissue are called benign. Benign tumors are less harmful as compared to malignant ones, but a benign tumor can cause problems in the brain by pressing on a nearby tissue.
Brain tumors that originate in brain cells are called primary brain tumors. The most common primary brain tumors are gliomas, menin-giomas, pituitary adenomas, vestibular schwannomas, and primitive neuroectodermal tumors (medulloblastomas). The term glioma includes glioblastomas, astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, and ependymomas.
Metastatic or secondary brain tumors spread to the brain from other tumors. Symptoms of a brain tumor are usually related to its location rather than its size. Symptoms develop when the tumor destroys or compresses normal brain tissue. Either the tissues around the tumor swell or the tumor interferes with the normal flow of fluid around the brain and spinal cord.
HeadacheSeizuresSpeech problemsImbalance or difficulty in walkingImpaired vision or a restricted visual field
Having any of these symptoms does not mean it is cancer, but if one or more of them is noticed for more than two weeks, then a doctor must be seen and an immediate health screening is a must.
Diagnosis of Brain cancer can be done by Physical examination, MRI or CT scan, Biopsy through surgery or Stereotactic brain biopsy. Treatment of brain cancer is usually complex. The most widely used treatments are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Many people with brain tumors undergo surgery or a stereotactic brain surgery in which the tumor is removed with the assistance of image guidance, leaving the healthy brain relatively intact. Neuroendoscopy is another minimally-invasive surgical procedure where the tumor is removed through small holes in the skull, mouth or nose, enabling neurosurgeons to access areas of the brain that cannot be reached with traditional surgery.
Radiation therapy and chemotherapy are other modalities of treatment used to treat brain cancers. The treatment of brain tumours is a complex one as tumours are positioned near vital structures which, if affected during treatment can largely impact the patient post treatment. Proton Therapy, an advanced form of radiation therapy is a globally proven standard to treat brain tumours with minimal side effects among multiple other benefits.
Costs vary depending on the surgical time and the complexity of the surgery. however the brain cancer (Tumor) cost in iran start from $4000.
Typically, brain cancer has the following grades:
First Grade - Tissues are benign. Also, the cell growth is very slow.
Second Grade - Tissues become more cancer like but higher proliferation than first grade .
Thirth Grade - Malignant tissues have abnormal cells which actively start multiplying.
Forth Grade - Malignant tissue has the most cells which are abnormal and it grows rapidly.
CAUSES OF BRAIN CANCER
Brain cancer occurs when there is an abnormal growth of cells in the tissues of the brain. Though the exact causes of brain cancer are unknown; genetic factors, environmental toxins, prolonged radiation, HIV infection, smoking, exposure to chemicals like embalmers, benzene, vinyl chloride, etc. are some of the brain cancer causes.
Surgery - Surgery is done to remove abnormal / cancer tissue. However, it is often better not to operate in such cases where the brain cancer is at that portion of the brain where the surgery can cause damage to the other portions. In cases, where the surgery cannot remove all the cancer cells, it eases symptoms and makes other treatments more effective.
Radiation Therapy - By using high energy radiation, this therapy attempts to destroy the cancer cell's ability to function and replicate. Usually, it is used after surgery to destroy any cancer cells that remain in the area.
Chemotherapy - By using certain drugs, doctors attempt to destroy brain cancer cells. Chemotherapy is given as tablets, or injections. Doctors may also place an implant containing a chemotherapy drug directly into the brain cancer cavity.
Immunotherapy - Under this, immune cells of a human body are directed towards destroying some specific cancer cell types. The therapy not only slows down the growth of cancer cells, but it also ensures it doesn’t spread to the other part of the body.
Though, the purpose of brain cancer treatment is to cure the issue, it can often lead to some of the side-effects, which you can always check with your doctor.
Loss of hair
Poor Blood Formation
Infection & Fever
Life after brain cancer treatment would depend upon the grading of the cancer. You would be happy that the treatment has ended. However, every ache or pain would make you think that the cancer is coming back. This feeling is normal. Take your time to adjust to the physical and emotional changes and redefine your life’s routine at your pace. Here are a few things that can help a cancer survivor to lead a better life post-treatment:
Grade I / Grade II cancers or Benign cancer patients return to work soon after surgery
Grade III / IV- have to undergo Radiotherapy / Chemotherapy and would take care of the side effects of the treatment for 4-8 weeks
Recurrence of cancers occur in grade III / IV types after few months to years
Seek help from your doctor, family members and friends to deal with depression, which is common among cancer survivors
Stay positive, but do not let your positivity stop you from conveying your loved ones and doctors about how you feel, including negative thoughts
Be aware that cancer recurrence is beyond your control, so focus on today rather than thinking of an uncertain future
Be as physically active as possible
Indulge in healthy eating habits