Throughout the world, millions of people are impacted by the disease, known as Brain tumor. It is characterized by abnormal growth of the mass of cells. The location of the tumor is either inside the brain tissue or nearby locations including the pineal gland, nerves, pituitary gland, and the membranes that cover the surface of the brain.
There is a striking clinical difference between the brain tumor in children and adults. It can start at any age but the pediatric population between 0-19 and old age people above 65 years has high chances of risk. Infants with less than one year of age have the highest incidence of brain tumors of all children and adolescents. It is slightly more common in assigned male birth at birth (AMAB) than the people assigned female at birth (AFAB).
When a person develops a brain tumor, early diagnosis is necessary but small-sized tumors may not get diagnosed and remain undetected with minimal symptoms. As the tumor grows, some hazardous signs are evident and detectable, which depends on factors such as location, size, and growth of the tumor inside the brain. There are several Warning Signs For Brain Tumor that may indicate the presence of brain tumors. These signs can also occur because of distinct conditions like headaches or seizure disorders that impose a potential hazard, or hindrance, or a condition that requires special medical attention.
Brain tumor, also known as an intracranial tumor develops when definite genes present on the chromosomes of a cell are damaged or fail to function properly. The tumor cells reproduce uncontrollably and show abnormal growth. Tumors can be primary or secondary based on their location. Primary brain tumor starts in the brain and mostly stay non-motile which could be cancerous (benign) or non-cancerous (malignant). The former show slow growth while the latter may grow rapidly. Secondary brain tumors, also known as metastatic brain tumors initiate cancer in different parts of the body and extend to the brain. There are numerous types of benign brain tumors explained below:
- Chordomas: These are benign and slow-growing tumors that most commonly occur in people under the 50-60 years age group. It initiates at the base of the skull and the bottom portion of the spine.
- Craniopharyngiomas: This tumor arises from a portion of the pituitary gland and its removal is difficult because it is located deep in the brain. In this case, patients need to undergo hormone transplant therapy.
- Meningiomas: Meningiomas are mostly benign but rarely, they can be malignant. They form in a membrane-like structure known as, meninges that surround the brain and spine.
- Pituitary Adenomas: It is a slow-growing and most common disease that affects the pituitary. Primary adenomas are located at the base of the brain.
- Schwannomas: This tumor commonly occurs in adults. They develop from Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system, that assist the conduction of nerve impulses.
The most prevalent type of adult brain tumor is Gliomas, which include approximately 75-80% of cancerous brain tumors. There are several types of cancerous or malignant brain tumors given below:
- Astrocytomas: It is the most commonly occurring type of glioma. Tumors are formed in star-shaped glial cells known as astrocytes.
- Medulloblastomas: These are rapidly growing, and high-grade tumors that arise in the cerebellum. This type of brain tumor is most common in children.
- Oligodendrogliomas: These are the rare types of tumors arising from myelin-creating cells.
- Ependymomas: It is derived from the neoplastic transformation of ependymal cells that line the ventricular system and account for 2-3% of brain tumors.
- Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM): GBM is rapidly growing, and the most invasive type of glial tumor formed in the glial cells, also known as astrocytes. Common in 50-70 years old people.
The world health organization (WHO) developed a grading system to standardize communication, and treatment plans, and predict the outcome of brain tumors. A Pathologist examines the tumor under a microscope and decides its grade accordingly. It is a method of dividing tumor cells into groups. The grading system differs on the basis of the type of brain tumor. The normal cells are generally low grade and abnormal-looking cells are high grade.
- Grade I: these are normal in appearance and usually slow-growing cells and less likely to escalate speed, associated with long-term survival.
- Grade II: these are slightly abnormal in appearance and slow-grow cells, but they can grow into the nearby brain tissue.
- Grade III: these are actively reproducing cells that are abnormal in appearance. It can spread to other body parts of the brain and spinal cord.
- Grade IV: these are very abnormal, fast-reproducing, and rapidly growing tumors. These tumors are malignant (cancerous).
Diagnosis of a brain tumor starts with the case study of the family’s medical history followed by the physical examination including imaging tests to obtain digital images of the brain, or neurological tests to check memory and mental status, cranial nerve function, coordination, reflexes, muscle strength, etc. For early detection of brain tumors, the tests prescribed by the doctor are:
- Imaging Tests: Imaging tests include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET), which creates detailed images of the brain that can show the location and the type of tumor.
- Biopsy: During a biopsy, a small sample of tissue is removed from the tumor and examined to identify whether the tumor is cancerous or non-cancerous.
- Hearing And Vision Tests: Changes in hearing and vision indicate the presence of brain tumors. An eye examination can detect changes in the optic nerve, and a hearing test like audiometry performed by an audiologist, detects hearing loss due to tumors near the cochlear nerve.
- Neurological Tests: These tests are performed to assess the ability to think, feel speak, and move. Any deviation in this indicates the presence of a tumor.
- Blood Tests: The blood test look over the presence of certain markers associated with a specific type of brain tumor.
A multidisciplinary team including a neurosurgeon, radiation oncologist, and oncologist from the Best Neurology Hospital In India+
decides the overall treatment plan of the patient depending upon several factors like location, size, grade, types of tumor, preference, and overall health of a patient. The ultimate goal is to remove the tumor completely and minimize its chances of reoccurring. Bone marrow treatment can be surgical or non-surgical.
Surgical Options For Brain Tumor Treatment:
Surgery is the first line of treatment for the removal of tumors. There are various surgical options to treat brain tumors either solely or in combination with other treatments.
- Craniotomy: It includes the removal of a piece to the skull to access the brain. It is the most commonly occurring brain tumor surgery. The maximum amount of the tumor is removed without causing much damage to the surrounding or nearby tissues.
- Laser Interstitial Thermal Therapy (LITT): This procedure is used for small-sized tumors that are difficult to remove. It includes the usage of a laser for destroying tumors with heat.
- Shunt Replacement: A thin and flexible tube known as a shunt is placed in the brain area to drain an excess amount of fluid that may accumulate due to a tumor.
In several cases, Some brain tumors are located in areas that cannot be accessed safely through surgery. Many times, a patient prefers non-surgical treatment for a brain tumor to control its symptoms and growth. Some of them are given below:
- Radiation Therapy: It is provided by the radiation oncologist after the surgery or preferably in combination with chemotherapy. The damage in DNA makes cells unable to divide. In this therapy, high-energy X-rays are used to remove tumor cells or decelerate their growth.
- Chemotherapy: Ituses drugs to kill cancer cells that disrupt cell division. it can be given intravenously or orally, either alone or in combination with radiation therapy.
- Targeted Therapy: Doctors use medication i.e. drugs to target cancer-specific molecules. This treatment focuses on targeting the tumor’s specific proteins, and genes that contribute to its survival and growth.
India has achieved major advances in medical therapy, notably in brain tumor treatment. It provides affordable treatment options, innovative surgical procedures, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy alternatives to people suffering from brain tumors. Brain Tumor Surgery Cost In India is typically a fraction of the cost for the equivalent treatment and care in the US, and other developed countries. India is the best destination for patients seeking budget-friendly, and high success rate neurosurgery. The cost of brain tumor treatment varies on factors including the condition of the patient, type of therapy, hospital, doctor’s qualification & expertise, etc.
Brain tumors are most likely to occur when certain genes present on the chromosome are damaged and no longer functioning properly, and the treatment often causes life-long changes. An appropriate cause of brain tumors is still unknown but people with inherited disease, cancer in the body, or prolonged exposure to chemicals, pesticides, and other industrial solvents are high at risk. Various risk factors of brain tumors are given below:
- Age: People over the age of 60 have more risk of brain tumors due to damage to cell DNA.
- Genetic Disorders And Family History: Patients with a family history of medical illness or pre-existing genetic disorders may be at increased risk for brain tumors.
- Infection: People affected with certain infections, such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) or human papillomavirus (HPV) have a compromised immune system and have high chances of developing cancer.
- Exposure To Certain Chemicals: Exposure to pesticides such as carbamates and solvents such as benzene, xylene, and toluene which are used in petrochemical industries are one of the major causes of the development of brain tumors.
- Self-Care: The primary care doctor and oncologist should discuss the home care needs with the patient and their family. Speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy may be helpful to improve lost functions.
- Rehabilitation: Although the brain can sometimes heal itself after the trauma of treatment, it will take patience and time. Brain tumor affects vision, thinking, movement, and speech. Rehabilitation may be an important part of recovery. A Neuropsychologist evaluates changes in a patient’s daily behavior, cognitive abilities, personality and develops a rehabilitation plan.