Brain cancer

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What is brain cancer?

There are billions of cells in the human body, which grows and increase to help our body's natural functions or as repairing damages. And if any cell in the brain begins to grow in an abnormal way or go wrong, then they can be very harmful to our brain.

If these brain cells begin to grow multiple times in an abnormal way, then a primary brain tumour can develop, which is dangerous for our brain. And if these cells begin to grow rapidly multiple times and spread within the brain, then a cancerous tumour will be formed and it will result in brain cancer.

If these cells begin to grow in an abnormal way elsewhere in the body first, e.g. the lungs and then those cells spread within in the brain, then it will be secondary brain cancer, also known as metastases.

Where Brain Cancers Start and Spread?

There are normally two types of brain tumours, it is a group of cells in your brain that are not so normal.
  1. Primary Brain Tumors – These start in the tissues of the brain and tend to stay there.
  2. Secondary Brain Tumor – These tumours are very common, this cancer when abnormal cells begin to grow somewhere else in your body first then they go to the brain. Lung cancer, kidney cancer, kidney cancer, etc. are the common cancers that can easily travel to the brain and can spread into it. 

All brain tumour doesn’t contain cancer cells, only some contain:

Benign brain tumours grow in slow speed, they can be removed also,  and rarely spread into the brain tissues. But they can cause a problem if in certain areas of the brain they press and also depends upon where they stay in the brain, they can also threaten your life. These tumours don’t have cancer cells, they can be recovered.
Malignant brain tumours grow very rapidly, these tumours have cancer cells. These invade nearby the healthy tissues of the brain. Malignant tumours spread beyond the brain or spinal cord very rarely.


What are the types of Brain Tumors?

There are the most common types of brain cancer are:
  1. Astrocytomas- This cancer mostly found in the largest part of the brain, that is cerebral. This cancer can be of any grade. They cause a change in behaviour because of seizures.
  2. Meningiomas – These tumours are very common primary tumours in youngsters. Mostly they occur in the age of your 70s or 80s. They found in the lining of the brain, in the meninges. They can be of grade 1, 2 or 3. These tumours are benign and grow at slow speed.
  3. Oligodendrogliomas – These tumours found in those cells who makes the protecting covers for nerves. They are usually graded 1, 2, or 3. These tumours normally grow in slow speed and don’t spread into the nearby tissues.

What are the grades of Brain Tumors?

Tumours are normally by their rate of normal and abnormal cells. Doctors use this measurement to help plan the treatment of brain tumours. With the help of grading, you also get the idea of how fast or slow tumours can grow and spread into the brain.
  1. Grade 1. Likely it is the long term survival, in this cells look normal and the speed of growing the cells is very slow.
  2. Grade 2. It is more life-threatening grade because the cells look abnormal but the speed of growth is slow. Also, the tumour can spread into nearby tissues and later it may recur, so it is a little bit dangerous.
  3. Grade 3. These tumours will definitely recur, the cells look abnormal and their growing speed is little fast and active into nearby brain tissue, so it is dangerous and life-threatening.
  4. Grade 4. These cells grow in very quick speed, and these look most abnormal and it is most dangerous and life-threatening.

How Brain Cancer Is Treated?

Your treatment completely depends on your health and also on age, or what is the grade of cancer, what is its size, where it is located and what is its growing speed.

Surgery

It is normally the first treatment idea comes in mind. But for those who have 1-grade tumours, it can be useful for them. All cancer can possibly be removed, or if it is not removed then surgery can reduce their size, growing speed and ease symptoms.

Therapies for Brain Cancer

  1. Radiation therapy – This therapy can be done after the surgery, it can kill any tumour cell that left in that particular area even after surgery, even if surgery cannot remove cancer, then only radiation therapy may remove.
  2. Chemotherapy – This therapy is given by mouth, or can say it’s less often, in wafers then surgeon puts it into the brain. Sometimes it may kill brain cancer cells.
  3. Targeted therapy- This therapy is really useful because this therapy attacks on the particular part of cancer cells and it also stop the growth and spreading of tumours in the brain, certain types of brain tumours can be treated by this therapy.

Sometimes your doctors can also suggest 2-3 therapies because is the grading point is high and it is necessary then combined therapy is essential.

What are the Brain Tumor's Symptoms?

The symptoms are normal and general of a brain tumour. When there is a pressure on the brain or on the spinal cord of tumour, then it will cause a general symptom. Because of the tumour when any particular part of the brain is not working well, then it will cause specific symptoms. There is no any specific symptom of brain tumour that’s why many people who have a brain tumour as a headache or other diagnosed when they go to the doctor after facing the problem of headache or diagnosed, then they will get to know about this problems.

What are the general symptoms of Brain Cancer?

  • Headache on an exceedingly high level, in the morning, when you do some activity which may be severe and worsen that time
  • When you do some work, suddenly there is an involuntary movement in one's muscles. Many people may suffer a different type of seizures, just like myoclonic and tonic-clonic. Certain medicines may help in prevent or control them. These seizures are also called convulsions. There are some different types of seizures, and the difference between them are listed below.

Myoclonic

Jerks, spasms, twitches of single or multiple muscles.

Tonic-Clonic (Grand Mal)

  • You will lose your body tone and consciousness, contraction is called the twitching and relaxing of many muscles in the body.
  • You will lose control of your body functions.
  • It also causes the problem of breathing, sometimes a person can’t breathe for a short period of time, may be of 30 seconds and then can turn into the shade of blue.
  • In this seizure a person may become lazy, he/she will feel sleepy, weak, headache, numbness and confusion, he/she will lose his presence of mind.

Sensory

  • You will feel certain changes in sensation, eyesight, smell
  • You will without losing any consciousness. 

Complex partial

  • You will lose your awareness or you may lose your total consciousness or partial, it depends on your grading and health.
  • You will feel unwanted movements, such as twitching or with unintentional repetitive.
  • And also there will be some changes in your personality and memory, you will suffer from nausea or vomiting, you will face the problems of fatigue and drowsiness, there will be a memory problem with your mind, you will not be able to sleep properly.

What are the stages of brain cancer?

Brain cancers based on their severity are classified in various stages. These stages are predefined as per the extent of cancer. They are staged according to their cell type and grade as they rarely spread to other organs unlike other cancers such as breast cancers or lung cancers. These cancers (breast and lung) are hence staged according to the so-called TMN staging which is based on the location and spread of the cancer cells. These cancer cells, in general, are staged from 0 to 4, with the highest stage (i.e. stage 4) indicates the spread of cancer to other organs.

What is metastatic brain cancer?

The cancer cells that develop in any body organ, mostly the lungs, can spread through various means, some of them are: via direct extension, or through the lymphatic system or through the bloodstream to various body organs such as the brain. Tumours formed due to such cancer cells are called metastatic tumours. As these cells metastasize or spread to other organs. Metastatic brain cancer is a mass of cells (tumour) that has originated in a different part of the body or different organ and has spread into the brain tissue. These sorts of tumours that cause Metastatic cancer are more common than primary brain tumours.  They are named after the tissue or organ where cancer had first developed. If it is originated in the lungs, then it is called metastatic lung or breast cancer tumours in the brain. These sorts are the most commonly found. An abbreviated name is occasionally used which at times confuses people. Some examples of it are when small cells of lung cancer that has metastasized to the brain are also often referred to as ‘small cell brain cancer'. People should henceforth not hesitate to ask doctors about any terms they do not understand. It may give crucial inputs about the origin of the cancer

What causes brain cancer?

Primary brain tumours are caused by brain tissue of different types, namely glial cells, astrocytes and other brain cell types. Whereas metastatic brain cancer is mainly caused due to the spread of cancer cells from a different body organ to the brain. However, the change of normal cells to cancer-causing cells in both the primary and metastatic brain tumours are not properly or fully understood. People with larger risk factors involved in their life are more likely to develop brain cancer.

The study suggests that individuals having risk factors involved in their job or daily lives such as workers at oil refineries, or handlers of jet fuels or corrosive chemicals such as benzene, or rubber industry workers, show higher rates of brain cancer as compared to the general population. Some families witness a lot of people having cancer. This arises a possible threat of cancer due to genetics, but heredity(genetic passage of traits arrived at children from parents) as a cause for a brain tumour has not been proven till date. Some other respective reasons for brain cancers are other risk factors such as smoking, radiation exposure and viral infection (such as HIV) have been suggested but nit proved to cause brain cancer.

There is still no evidence about the cause of brain cancer being head trauma or use of cell phones, it is also unknown whether it is contagious or not. It is also claimed in many lay press and web articles that aspartame which is an artificial sweetener, causes bring cancer. The FDA however clearly states that it does not cause brain cancer and it is shown over data as their base findings on over 100 toxicological and clinical studies regarding the sweetener's safety

Last, there is some advice for you, if you face any symptoms of cancer or find any problems, immediately consult a doctor immediately. Because even slight linearly over the diagnosis of this type of disease could be fatal. If you are suffering from cancer then properly follow your treatment plan, go on advises of your doctor and go to your regularly scheduled appointment.

This is a curable disease. Proper medication and rehabilitation can easily help the patient to overcome this chronic disease. But its mostly depends upon your health or your intake.  Always remember one thing do not give more stress to your mind, do not take too much tension, most important if you want to be disease free always keep your mind free and relax.
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