Cancer » Brain Cancer
Brain cancer is one of the main types of cancer and very popular worldwide. Many a times, brain cancer is incorrectly referred to as a brain tumor. Brain tumors can be benign or malignant. Benign tumors are not harmful and do not spread to other parts of the body. Also, they do not damage the tissues or kill normal cells. Hence, benign tumors are not a threat to life.
Brain tumor can be actually referred to the tumor that originate in the brains due to the abnormality of malignant cells. Malignant cells are also known as the cancerous cells or tumor cells and are very destructive. They attack the adjacent tissues and prevent them from carrying out their normal functions. They also replace the live, normal-working cells and form a tumor in their place. This obstructs the basic activities such as sufficient blood and oxygen flow to various organs of the body leading to the deterioration of health.
How the disease originates?
There are innumerable cells present in our brain. These cells stop dividing and die after a certain period and then they are replaced by new healthy cells. But the case is different with the victims of the brain tumor. These dead cells continue to grow uncontrollably leaving no room for the normal cells. They also damage the nearby tissues and obstruct the normal flow of oxygen and blood. They form a tumor and disturb the functioning of the brain and spinal cord. The problem gets severe as the time passes by and that may prove fatal.
Brain tumor is basically of two types as primary and secondary tumor. Primary brain tumor occurs rarely and usually doesn't spread to other parts of the body. But it has a tendency to attack the healthy tissues in the spinal cord and brain and that can be fatal. Secondary brain tumor is the case in which the tumor or the malignant cancer cells originate in other vital of the body like the lungs, kidney, prostate, breast or skin and later reach the brain. The symptoms and health issues experienced in the secondary tumor may vary from person to person depending upon his immunity and medical history. Metastatic brain cancer is another term used for the secondary brain tumor. Secondary brain tumor is the most common type of brain tumor and most of the cases detected belong to this category. The cancerous cells spread from one place to another normally through the bloodstream.
Brain cancer: Points to remember
Brain tumor can be vital if not treated in time. A person can be a victim to the disease depending upon a number of factors. Age is an important factor in the occurrence of the disease. The tumor can occur at any age but mostly arises in the early or middle ages. Males are more prone to the disease. Brain tumor is the leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide.
Genetic factors may or may not play a role in making one prone to the disease. Previous history of the disease among your earlier generations or the family members does not mean that you will be the next victim. Hereditary factor has still not been a proven cause for recurrence of the disease in the next generation. However, the person who has been treated for the cancer previously can be prone to the disease. Especially, the one who has taken the radiation therapy for head is more prone to the brain tumor. Also, radiation therapy at the younger age will make a person more prone to the cancer.
A good immunity system is always a boon to fight any type of disease. A healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet can protect you considerably from falling prey to brain tumor. Regular exercise is necessary and you must include vegetables, fruits and salads in your daily diet. This helps in proper functioning of your body tissues and a balanced cell-growth. You should remember that the disease starts with an infection and attacks mainly the active cells. A good immunity system helps in constant and proper production of antibodies by the white blood cells and protects you from frequent infections or allergies.
Many people worry about using their cell phones or get tensed after getting exposed to any hazardous chemicals. They fear that this may lead to brain tumor. A widespread research on this topic is in progress and has failed to reach any specific conclusion till date.
There are a few specific symptoms by which you can detect the brain cancer and consult your physician immediately for diagnosis. Weakness in certain parts of the body is an early indication of the disease and must be taken seriously. It can be the first stage of cancer and is curable only if diagnosed and treated at the earliest. Unexpected changes in the behavior or vision can also be concerned with inefficient functioning of your brain and a thorough examination is necessary to detect the exact cause. Neurological defects are hard to detect and a reliable pattern of treatment is necessary to find out the exact cause and location of the defect.
Difficulty in carrying out basic activities like walking, drawing or writing can also be another indication of inefficient functioning of cells. Drowsiness, headache, frequent vomiting or irritability is another primary and important indication of the disease. Coma patients should be treated on emergency basis, as the tumor gets severe in this stage.
Brain cancer is one of the fatal types of cancer as the impact is wide and affects the overall functioning of the body. Various kinds of physical examination techniques like CT (Computed Tomography) scan, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scan, biopsy and X-ray are widely used to examine the body internally. Radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy are some of the reliable treatments to cure this cancer. However, one needs to consider the side effects before finalizing the line of treatment.