Brain Tumour – A Race Against Time

People who have been diagnosed with Brain Tumour consider it as a ticking time bomb and living with it is not easy at all. Panic, anxiety, uncertainty about the future and unpredictability of the disease could easily suck off the energy levels of the patients and the life may appear doomed.
 
However, not all tumours of the brain are fatal and with the advances in the field of Neuro-oncology the outcomes are better and encouraging.   
 
There are two types of tumours (benign / non-cancerous or malignant / cancerous) that are found in the brain. Benign ones don’t spread to other parts and can be removed surgically unlike the malignant ones. However both the tumours cause damage to the surrounding cells as they cause inflammation and pressurize the tissue beneath as well as inside the skull.
 
The most common symptoms of brain tumours are
  • Headaches (not all headaches are related to tumours)
  • Seizures
  • Change in Vision or hearing or both
  • Change in Speech
  • Balance Problems
  • Numbness or Tingling in Arms or Legs
  • Weakness in any particular part of body
  • Memory Problems
Malignant primary brain tumours originate in brain and aggressively invade the surrounding tissues and central nervous system. However they rarely spread to other parts of the body.
The most common types of adult brain tumours are Gliomas and Astrocytic tumors arising from astrocytes and glial cells which maintain the nerve cell environment & nutrition. The second most common type of adult brain tumour arises from the thin layer of tissue covering the brain & spinal cord- the meninges and are called the meningeal tumours.     
 
The primary treatment of brain tumour involves surgical removal of the tumour but the surgery is always complex owing to the risk to the neurological tissue. The potential risks of this surgery usually involve:
  • Infection
  • Meningitis
  • Swelling in the Brain
  • Bleeding
  • Blood Clots
  • Changes in Blood Pressure
  • Seizures
  • Weakness
  • Leakage of Cerebrospinal Fluid
  • Balance Issues
  • Memory Issues
  • Coma
Types of Brain Tumour Treatment
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Hence, the patient should undergo surgery only with an expert hand in a well-equipped hospital. However, post-treatment the patient may need to undergo monitoring throughout life. Brain tumour not only affects the patient but affects the family at large and especially the caregiver needs to be sensitised as well as taught to cope with the challenges as during the course of treatment the patient undergoes a lot of emotional, psychological & behavioural changes.
 

Though surgery is the primary line of treatment, the treatment usually depends on the type of the tumour, its location, size & grade of tumour and health & age of the patient.

Radiation, chemotherapy, surgery and alternative & integrative therapy can also be used for the treatment. Narayana Health one of the reputed names in Neuro oncology field offers stereotactic surgery through minimal invasion or a keyhole in the skull in order to biopsy deep seated tumours, Endoscopic skull base surgery and Radiosurgery (scarless surgery) for treatment of cranial tumours. The department of neurosciences treats brain and spine tumours both in adults as well as in children.

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