Brain Cancer Symptoms and Treatment
Brain cancer includes tumors that originate from the surrounding tissues and grow into the skull, along with tumors that form within the brain itself. It occurs as a result of uncontrolled and proliferation of harmful cells in the brain and surrounding tissues. The resulting malignant tumors can metastasize to the surrounding tissues while growing and multiplying uncontrollably. Therefore, life-threatening clinical pictures can be encountered compared to benign tumors. Brain cancer, the cause of which is still not known fully, can be seen in all age groups and causes a decrease in the quality of life of the person.
What causes brain cancer?
The exact cause of brain cancer is not known. However, studies suggest that that individuals exposed to certain factors including nitrosurea, polyvinlyl chloride, ultraviolet, and ionizing radiation (high electrical voltage) have a higher risk of developing this disease. Accordingly, the following conditions are thought to increase the risk of developing brain cancer.
- Having a family and relatives history of the disease
- The possibility of developing cancer types in the brain tissue increases with advancing age.
- The chemicals in tobacco causing cancer due to smoking
- Lead, petroleum, plastic, pesticides, etc. exposure to chemicals harmful to human health
- Having had various infectious diseases
In addition, while malignant brain tumors are mostly seen in children and over 60 years of age, benign brain tumors are more common in other age ranges.
What are the symptoms of brain cancer?
Brain cancer may show symptoms such as headache, nausea and vomiting due to the pressure of the tumors inside the skull. Other symptoms of the disease are as follows;
- Severe headache due to the spread of the disease
- Nausea, vomiting, double vision
- Forgetfulness and memory loss
- Balance and gait disorders
- Speech disorder
- Numbness, loss of feeling and strength in various parts of the body
- Personality disorders
- Decreased cognitive abilities such as coordination and concentration
How is brain cancer diagnosed?
The diagnosis of brain cancer is made as a result of the pathological examination of thetumor sample taken surgically from the mass. The methods that can be used in the diagnosis of the disease are as follows.
- Computed Tomography (CT)
- Magnetic Resonance (MR)
- Lumbar Puncture (LP)
Brain cancer treatment
The treatment develops depending on many factors such as the location of the tumor, its relationship with surrounding tissues, whether it metastasizes, its size and biological characteristics. The methods that can be used in the treatment of the disease are as follows;
The mass is removed from brain with the microsurgical method. However, in the surgical method, there is a possibility that the intact brain tissues may be damaged during the operation. The surgical operation, which carries some risks in terms of the development of complications, is evaluated individually, together with the patient’s condition.
Radiation can reach sensitive masses in the skull. Therefore, radiotherapy method is one of the important applications in the treatment of brain cancer. Radiotherapy at the appropriate dose and duration is an effective method in the treatment.
Depending on the characteristics of cancer cells, chemotherapy treatment can also be applied in the disease. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy can be used in the treatment of cancer cells that cannot be removed by surgery. In addition, chemotherapy can be given directly to the cerebrospinal fluid via LP for local targeting. However, the effcet of chemotherapy in brain tumors is very limited; microsurgical treatment is the mainstay treatment in brain tumors.