Early Symptoms of Brain Tumor | Brain Tumor Types & Causes

The word tumor simply refers to mass. It is the word used generally by people, but this is non-specific term for neoplasm.

Neoplasm is the abnormal growth of the new cells. The cells in neoplasm grow at a much faster rate than the normal growth of the cells and will continue t grow if not treated on time.

Tumors mainly are of two types:

Benign tumor: This tumor is non-cancerous tumor. A benign tumor is normally confined to a small area or localized and does not spread to other parts of the body. Most of the benign tumors respond well to the treatment. If left untreated and handled in a slapdash fashion, then it would lead to serious disease. Benign tumors can also take off malignant tumors, and so for this reasons are sometimes treated.

Malignant tumor: They are of cancerous growth, and hence required for treatment. They are often defiant to treatment and may spread to other parts of the body.

A cancer is a synonym for a malignant tumor. The terms tumor and cancer are at times used interchangeably which can be disingenuous. The term tumor basically refers to mass.

Symptoms of Brain Tumor

A brain tumor can be of two type’s benign tumor or malignant tumor. The malignant tumor is the cancerous tumor and also a threat to the human life.
Cancerous or malignant tumor can also be divided into two parts, first is the primary tumor that starts with in the brain and the second one is the secondary tumor which spreads from other part of the body, known as brain metastasis tumor.

All types of the brain tumor produce different symptoms depending on the part of the brain involved and the size of the tumor. The larger the tumor the more it increases the growth size of the cells.

Some tumors cause direct damage to brain tissue where as others hurts and damages the surrounding. You’ll have visible symptoms when the brain tumor starts putting strain on your brain tissue.

The signs and the symptoms that caused by brain tumors may include:

  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting
  • Headaches in different parts of the brain
  • Headaches gradually becoming more severe
  • Blurred vision, double vision or any vision problem
  • Imbalance in the body
  • Problems in hearing
  • Difficulty in speech
  • puzzlement in daily matters
  • Personality or manners changes
  • With growth of disease unconsciousness may take place.
  • Seizures

Have an appointment with doctor if you have constant signs and symptoms that concern you.

Brain Tumor Test

Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) separates the blood from most of the part of the brain. BBB exerts a restrictive control as to which the substance are allowed to pass. For that reason, many tracers that reach tumors in the body very easily would only reach the brain if there is any kind of disturbance in the BBB.

The doctor may order the following test:

  1. CT scan of the head

Through CT scan doctors get to know more detailed information about your body then they could get that with the X-ray machines. This can be done with or without contrast.

 

  1. MRI of the head

An MRI is different from CT scan. MRI does not use radiations and provide much more specific and detailed information of the body. If you have an MRI of your head a particular dye can be used by your doctor to spot the tumor.

  1. Angiography

In this study, a doctor uses a dye that is injected to your artery, generally in the groin area. The dye travels to the arteries in your brain. This allows the doctors to see what the blood supply of the tumor looks like. It is extremely useful information at the time of the surgery.

  1. Skull X-rays

Brain tumors can be the reason for the breaks or a fracture that occurs in the skull and specific X-rays can detect that and also shows that if that has occurred.

  1. Biopsy

The biopsy can determine whether the tumor is malignant or benign. A small piece of tumor is obtained during the biopsy. This is examined by the specialist called neuropathologist.  It can also determine whether the tumor is primary or secondary.

  1. Tests to find cancer in another part of the body

It may be possible that the cancer occur in any other part of the body and spread to the brain. Your doctor may do test to determine where the cancer originated.

The doctor can also do some physical test and look at your medical history before beginning of any test. The doctor may evaluate your:

  • Coordination
  • Muscle strength
  • Ability to do mathematical calculation
  • Memory

 

Causes of Brain Tumor

The cause of having brain tumor in most of the cases is unknown. The research is going on for finding the reasons and science will come out of the reasons.

There are various risk factors to which an individual has been exposed to which may cause the brain tumor. Although the research has been going on this since long time, there are many things that have not been exposed till yet and will be in the light in the near future.

The risk factor and the cause have direct relation. The more you are exposed to the risk factors; it affects the chances of having the brain tumors.

Risk factor of Brain Tumor

Risk factor can be understood as anything that can affect the probability of having the brain tumor. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors can be changed while on others you have no control. Like smoking a cigarette, you can stop this and is in your control.

But having a risk factor does not necessarily mean that the person will have the tumor. Sometimes the person gets the tumor without getting exposed to any risk factor. It is highly uncertain to predict the cause and the risk factors. There are few risk factors that can increase the chances of brain tumors.

Exposure to Radiation

The exposure to the radiation is one of the best known environmental factors that have induced the brain tumors. The radiation therapy that has been used to cure the other tumors and cancers in other body part when radiated through head may cause a chance to the brain tumor.  Although the chances are low, still doctor advice this after seeing the possibility of benefits and risks.

The risk of exposure from the Imaging tests that uses radiation, such as X-rays or CT scans, is not known for sure. Although the radiation evolve from here are very less as compare to the radiation from those of the radiation therapy.  Still doctor advice not to have it to the children and pregnant woman until it is clearly needed.

History of the Family

It has been generally seen that most people having brain tumor do not have any family history of this disease, but in rare cases the family history is of having the disease. Generally, patients those who have familiar cancer syndromes tend to have many tumors that take place when they are adolescent.

Weakened immune system

Weakened immune system is also one of the risks of developing the lymphomas of the brain. Lymphocytes are the type of blood cells that fight the disease, and lymphomas are the cancer of the lymphocytes. A weakened immune system can be present at birth (inherited) or it can be due to the exposure to the wrong environment which body couldn’t properly function.

Uncertain, Unproven and controversial factors having effects on brain tumor

Use of the cell phone

There is no proper evidence whether the use of cell phone has exposed to the more chances of the brain tumor. The appropriate research domino effect has not been possible till yet because to any research there is minimum years needed so that a strong result can be made known with proof, which is yet to be done with the cell phones.

Cell phones give Radio frequency (RF) rays and not ionizing rays which causes the cancer by damaging the DNA inside cells. So this is a debatable topic for scientist and the doctors.

In the interim, till it does not the whole picture is not clear, if you want to lower the exposure to the risk then start using the phone’s speaker or ear plugs to avoid the phone being too close to head.

Other Factors

There are a number of other environment factors such as exposure to vinyl chloride (a chemical that is used for plastic manufacturing), petroleum products, and certain other chemicals have been linked with an augmented risk of brain tumors in a quantity of studies but not in others.

Causes

The changes in the DNA inside cell caused the Brain tumor. DNA is the chemical that is responsible for making our genes, which pedals how our cells function.

Certain genes that helps cells grow up, segregate, and stay lively is known as oncogenes.

Tumor suppressor genes are the genes that keep cell division under control, or make cells die at the right time.

Any changes that take place in the body that causes to turn on the oncogenes and turn off the tumor suppressor genes can lead to cancer. These gene changes can be hereditary, or most of the times it is developed during person’s lifetime.

Inherited Genes Changes

This gene changes is rare and this situation can be founded very less in the real world scenario. Researchers have found some gene changes that causes some rare inherited syndrome and increases the uncertainty of the brain tumor.

Gene changes acquire during lifetime

It is not clear that why people without inherited syndrome develop the brain tumor, researchers are finding the reasons behind the development of brain tumor and the reason why the gene changes of the people.

There are different types of brain tumors, and each and every tumor occurs due to change in the cells. Some of them have been founded by scientist whereas the others are still on working. The human brain is so complex that it would not be possible to take out all the solutions at a time.

Brain Tumor Types

The complexity of the brain makes it more complicated to understand the reason for the tumors in the brain. The researchers are trying their best to identify all the reasons behind these and some of the types of the brain tumors have been identified by the researchers and the neurologist who constantly work on this.

According to National Brain Tumor Society, there are over 120 different types of brain tumors. The tumors are classified on the basis of the cell on which it got first developed.

The tumors are of various types and many tumors also have its different sub types, and also some tumors have different names also. It is also better to be note that non malignant or benign tumors can be just as difficult to treat as the malignant tumor.

  • Acoustic Neuroma

This is also known as schwannoma, vestibular schwannoma, or neurilemmoma.

Characteristics

Normally grows in the region of eighth cranial nerve, but can be found around other cranial or spinal nerves.

Arises from cells that form a protective sheath around nerve fibres

Acoustic Neuroma Symptoms

  • Hearing loss in one ear
  • Lack of harmonization
  • lack of feeling in the face
  • Ringing in the ear

 

  • Chordoma

*They are uncommon and low grade.

*They originates from the cells left over from early fetal development.

*They can spread or recur

* They can chunk the ventricles, causing hydrocephalus.

Chordoma Symptoms

  • Double Vision
  • Headaches

 

  • CNS Lymphoma

*They are more common in men than women.

*The age group largely affected is 60s and 70s. Although now a day’s young masses are also becoming target of this.

*Very violent and aggressive

*It can be both primary (originating within the brain) and secondary.

CNS Lymphoma Symptoms

  • Seizures
  • Vision Problem
  • Speech disorders
  • Headaches
  • Partial paralysis on one side of the body.

 

  • Craniopharyngioma

*They are originated from the cells left over from early fatal development.

*They are tend to be low grade.

*They are accompanied by cyst.

*They usually occurs in the 50s.

Craniopharyngioma Symptoms

  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Changes in vision.

 

  • Astrocytoma

Grade I- Pilocytic Astrocytoma

Pilocytic Astrocytoma Characteristics

  • Mostly occur in children and teens
  • Accounts for 2% of all tumors
  • Grows in the optic nerve pathways, brain stem and cerebellum.

 

Grade II– Low –Grade Astrocytoma

 Low-Grade Astrocytoma Characteristics

  • Borders are not well defined.
  • Slow growth
  • Common among individual in 20s and 50s.
  • Less chance of spread to other parts of the CNS.

Grade III–  Anaplastic Astrocytoma

  • Common among the individuals in their 30s-50s.
  • More widespread in men than women.
  • Invades nearby tissue.
  • Accounts for two percent of all the brain tumors.

Grade IV- Glioblastoma (GBM)

This is the most serious astrocytoma. It develops from the lineage of the star shaped gilal cells, known as astrocytes.

  • GBM is the most general and deadliest of malignant primary brain tumors.
  • GBM develops first in the cerebral hemispheres but it can also expand to further parts of the brain.

Glioblastoma (GBM) Characteristics

  • Less chances of occurring in children.
  • More in older individuals and men are more effected than women.
  • 5 year survival rate- 4% and median survival rate- 15 months

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