Brain Tumor is a dreaded disease. We all get frightened if oneself or any of our family members gets affected by Brain Tumor. Brain Tumor is an abnormal growth or mass of cells affecting any part of our brain. This abnormal mass of cells or growth affects our brain in two ways:
1. It starts compressing the surrounding part of the Brain due to its mass and swelling. This is called mass effect. This leads to disturbance in the function of normal brain.
2. It also affects the function of part of brain which it affects.
All this leads to various symptoms:
1. Headache – Patient usually complains of Headache in one part or whole of head. It usually awakens the patient from sleep at early morning between 4 am and 5 am.
2. Vomiting – headache is usually accompanied by recurrent vomiting. The vomiting often relieves the headache.
3. Weakness - Weakness in one part of the boday or weakness in arm and legs over one side of the body.
4. Seizures or fits – Some tumors may present with repeated episodes of fits or seizures commonly known as Epileptic attacks.
5. Hearing – Difficulty in hearing, some tumors cause deafness due to compression of related structures in brain.
6. Blindness – Some brain tumor can lead to loss of vision. This may be due to the compression of related structures in the brain.
Age – The brain tumor can affect any age group from child to young. It also occurs in old age. Different age groups are affected by different types of brain tumors. For example children are affected by ependymoma and medulloblastoma but glioblastoma is the most common tumor in the old age.
Brain Tumor can be divided in two types based on their aggresivness.
What should be done if a person is suffering from signs & symptoms of Brain Tumors??
How a Brain Tumor is treated?
Surgery – Surgery is done in most cases of Brain Tumor. Surgery relieves the mass effect, decrease the size of tumor and also provides a sample of tumor for biopsy, so that further management can be planned.
Radiotherapy & Chemotherapy – After surgery, some types of cancerous lesions are further treated by Radiotherapy under guidance of a competent oncologist.
What are the advanced techniques in the Brain Tumor Surgery ?
Recent state of the art gadgets have tremendously improved our ability to perform safe and effective surgery on Brain Tumors. These include:
1. New State of the art Operating Microscope. This tremendously helps in Brain Tumor Surgery by magnification and illumination.
2. High Speed Drill system – to make an opening in the skull to reach Brain Tumor.
3. CUSA – Ultrasonic Aspirator – It sucks the tumor after emulsifying it. It is a great help to neurosurgeon. It decreases operating time and blood loss.
4. Neuro Navigation – It helps to find the location of instruments inside the brain in real time. Thus injury to normal brain in minimized.