The brain tumor is an abnormal growth of cells within the brain, which can be cancerous or non-cancerous (benign).
It is defined as any intracranial tumor created by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, normally either in the brain itself (neurons,glialcells (astrocytes, dendrocytes, ependymal cells), lymphatic tissue, blood vessels, in the cranial nerves (myelin-producing Schwann cells), in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary and pineal gland, or spread from cancers primarily located in other organs (metastatic tumors).
Primary (true) brain tumors are commonly located in the posterior cranial fossa in children and in the anterior two-thirds of the cerebral hemispheres in adults, although they can affect any part of the brain.
CAUSES OF BRAIN TUMOR
The exact causes of brain tumors is unknown. Doctors can seldom explain why one person develops a brain tumor and another does not. However, it is clear that brain tumors are contagious. No one can "catch" the disease from another person.
The following risk factors are associated with an increased chance of developing a primary brain tumor:
- Being male - In general, brain tumors are more common in males than females. However, meningiomas are more common in females.
- Race - Brain tumors occur more often among white people than among people of other races.
- Age - Most brain tumors are detected in people who are 70 years old or older. However, brain tumors are the second most common cancer in children. (Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer.) Brain tumors are more common in children younger than 8 years old than in older children.
- Family history - People with family members who have gliomas may be more likely to develop.
Radiation or certain chemicals :
- Radiation - Workers in the nuclear industry have an increased risk of developing a brain tumor.
- Formaldehyde - Pathologists and embalmers who work with formaldehyde have an increased risk of developing brain cancer. Scientists have not found an increased risk of brain cancer among other types of workers exposed to formaldehyde.
- Vinyl chloride - Workers who make plastics may be exposed to vinyl chloride. This chemical may increase the risk of brain tumors.
- Acrylonitrile - People who make textiles and plastics may be exposed to acrylonitrile. This exposure may increase the risk of brain cancer.
SYMPTOMS OF BRAIN TUMORS
The symptoms of brain tumors depend on tumor size, type, and location. Tumor may be caused when a tumor presses on a nerve or damages a certain area of the brain. They also may be caused when the brain swells or fluid builds up within the skull.
These are the most common symptoms of brain tumors:
- Headaches(usually worse in the morning)
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Changes in speech, vision, or hearing
- Problems balancing or walking
- Changes in mood, personality, or ability to concentrate
- Problems with memory
- Muscle jerking or twitching (seizures or convulsions)
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
DIAGNOSIS OF BRAIN TUMORS
- Physical examination
- CT scan
- MRI Physical scan
- PET scan
- Spinal tap
- Skull x-ray
- Physical exam - The doctor checks general signs of health.
- Neurologic exam - The doctor checks for alertness, muscle strength, coordination, reflexes, and response to pain. The doctor also examines the eyes to look for swelling caused by a tumor pressing on the nerve that connects the eye and brain.
- CT scan - An x-ray machine linked to a computer takes a series of detailed pictures of the head. The patient may receive an injection of a special dye so the brain shows up clearly in the pictures. The pictures can show tumors in the brain.
- MRI - A powerful magnet linked to a computer makes detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures are viewed on a monitor and can also be printed. Sometimes a special dye is injected to help show differences in the tissues of the brain. The pictures can show a tumor or other problem in the brain.
- Angiogram - Dye injected into the bloodstream flows into the blood vessels in the brain to make them show up on an x-ray. If a tumor is present, the doctor may be able to see it on the x-ray.
- Skull x-ray - Some types of brain tumors cause calcium deposits in the brain or changes in the bones of the skull. With an x-ray, the doctor can check for these changes.
- Spinal tap - The doctor may remove a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (the fluid that fills the spaces in and around the brain and spinal cord). This procedure is performed with local anesthesia. The doctor uses a long, thin needle to remove fluid from the spinal column. A spinal tap takes about 30 minutes. The patient must lie flat for several hours afterward to keep from getting a headache. A laboratory checks the fluid for cancer cells or other signs of problems.
- Myelogram - This is an x-ray of the spine. A spinal tap is performed to inject a special dye into the cerebrospinal fluid. The patient is tilted to allow the dye to mix with the fluid. This test helps the doctor detect a tumor in the spinal cord.
- Biopsy - The removal of tissue to look for tumor cells is called a biopsy. A pathologist looks at the cells under a microscope to check for abnormal cells. A biopsy can show cancer, tissue changes that may lead to cancer, and other conditions. A biopsy is the only sure way to diagnose a brain tumor.
- Surgeons can obtain tissue to look for tumor cells in three ways:
- Needle biopsy - The surgeon makes a small incision in the scalp and drills a small hole into the skull. This is called a burr hole. The doctor passes a needle through the burr hole and removes a sample of tissue from the brain tumor.
- Stereotactic biopsy - An imaging device, such as CT or MRI, guides the needle through the burr hole to the location of the tumor. The surgeon withdraws a sample of tissue with the needle.
- Biopsy at the same time as treatment - Sometimes the surgeon takes a tissue sample when the patient has surgery to remove the tumor.
HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENTS FOR BRAIN TUMORS
Very useful medicine for Brain tumor with nausea and vomiting. There is sensation as if a foreign body was under the skull. Also there is scorched feeling on top of head and sensation of a lump in right half of brain. There is vertigo on turning the eyes , when lying down or turning over in bed. Recommended for difficult gait which is staggering. There is sudden loss of strength while walking.
Useful for Brain tumor with confusion.There is headache whch ends in vomiting.Given when person rolls the head constantly with moaning. He bores his head into pillow for relief . There is a feeling that electric shock passes through the brain .
Best medicine for Brain tumor with a syphilitic history.There is bilateral violent headache , as if screwed through the sides of the head, which get worse warmth and pressure. There is hard,painful lumps on cranium with headache. Usful for pain which is tense over eyes and root of nose. Brain feels enlarged.
Very effective medicine for brain tumor with severe headache. Given when person feels pain as if pierced by a nail , better head backwards. There is sweating on forehead and arms.Recommended for that patient who is emotional , sensitive, and irritable.There is desire of acid and salty food.
Very effective remedy for Brain tumor when the tumor is hard and stony.There is a cracking noise in head wth disturbing sleep.There is great depression , sparks before the eyes, brain fag and vomiting.
Very useful for Brain tumor with severe headache. There is a sensation as if brain was pressed against the skull. There is feeling of ice in occiput.