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Monday, October 12, 2015

Brain Tumor: Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

What is a brain tumor?

A brain tumor is a type of cancer in the brain. A brain tumor may be benign or malignant. Doctors can a benign tumor usually good removal. The tumor comes next will not return. ' Benign ' sounds harmless, but a benign tumor on a wrong spot in the brain is dangerous.
A malignant tumor is difficult. At the edges of the tumor are in tumor cells between healthy brain cells. If it works to remove the tumor, he (almost) always comes back again. A malignant brain tumor is very serious; people can go to death.
A tumor can also be a metastasis of cancer somewhere else in the body. Always such a tumor is malignant.

If your doctor at your symptoms thinks of a tumor, it refers you to a neurologist. After a CT scan or MRI scan of your brain know the neurologist or a tumor is the cause of your symptoms. The surgeon then takes a piece of tissue (biopsy) to the tumor to investigate further. It determines whether the tumor is benign or malignant, where the tumor is, how big he is and how fast it grows. Depending on the type of tumor you get surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. A small benign tumor can continue to sit if he not is growing rapidly and you have few complaints.

Types of brain tumors

There are different types of brain tumors. A brain tumor is in the brain or just outside the brain under the skull.
  1. The glioma is the most common. Two of the three brain tumors are gliomas. A glioma is in the cells that nourish the nervous tissue. Most gliomas are malignant. The place of the glioma determines what complaints anyone has.
  2. The Meningioma is in the tissue that surrounds the brain: the brain membranes. This tumor may be brain tissue damage by being on the brain. He is usually benign. One of the five tumors is a Meningioma. Complaints are weak muscles, epilepsy and less good smell and see.
  3. The adenoma is a benign tumor in the pituitary gland. More than one of the 10 tumors is an adenoma. The pituitary gland takes care of the production of hormones. By the tumor makes hormones to you too much or too little.
Together, these three types of some 95% of all brain tumors. There are about fifteen other tumors that are much less common.

A brain tumor occurs most often in people between forty and seventy years old. A few tumors, such as medulloblastoma, only in children.
A brain tumor can also be a metastasis of cancer elsewhere in the body. This is called a metastasis.

What are the signs and symptoms of a brain tumor?

A brain tumor can give many different complaints:

Loss phenomena
This means that the body certain things no longer does. This can be anything. It depends on the place in the brain where the tumor is. For example:
  1. feel: (light) paralyses or less feeling in an arm or leg. This paralyses emerged on the other side of the body than the side where the tumor is. Is the tumor left, then is your right leg numb.
  2. think: memory problems or language disorders (aphasia). People with aphasia can speak or understand words not good not good what others say.
  3. breathe if a tumor of the brainstem compression, the heartbeat and breathing very slowly or very fast. That's very dangerous.
  4. behavior: by a brain tumor, you can start behaving differently. For example, you slow, indifferent, irritable or Moody.
Epilepsy can be the first sign of a brain tumor. Such an attack can be very light, for example a couple of shocks in one hand. But it can also be a major attack with sudden unconsciousness and violent jerking of arms and legs. An attack almost always goes without saying.

Headache and nausea occur because the tumor creates a higher pressure in the brains. This headache is not over. Pain relievers do not help. Some people are so sick that they have to vomit. A lot of pressure in your head, you may be drowsy. You can also blurred or double vision because the tumor pressing on your optic nerves.
If the pressure in the brains is very large, the search for space brains. They can then be pressed down. This is called "crushing." Someone first gets lost consciousness, can slip into a coma and even death. Therefore the physician must intervene immediately.

Brain Tumor Symptoms, Diagnosis And Treatment

How is a brain tumor diagnosed?

Headache is one of the symptoms of a brain tumor. But most people with headache have luckily no brain tumor. When should you go to the doctor?
  1. You have all of a sudden headache while you there rather never bothered.
  2. You are also sick.
  3. And your body does certain things no longer or you have an attack of epilepsy.
If your doctor thinks your symptoms to a problem in the brain, it refers you to a neurologist. This lets you do a few exercises to see if your brain control your body still good. She looks how you walk, talk and reacts. They test your sense of balance and the strength in your arms and legs.
To see if there is a tumor in the brain makes the neurologist probably first a CT scan, and then an MRI scan. On the results of the scan should you wait a few weeks.

If there is a tumor in the brain is, examines the doctor this. They are watching a piece of the tumor under the microscope. So they can identify what kind of tumor it is and determine what treatment you need.
To take away a piece of the tumor is a biopsy. The doctor makes a hole in the skull and participates with a hollow needle when tumor tissue. If the tumor on a difficult place in your brain is, you get a frame around your head with which the surgeon very precisely the surgical site. This is called stereo nursery assistant. A biopsy may under local anesthesia. Most people may go home the day after surgery.
Sometimes the surgeon takes a piece of the tumor through a larger opening in the head. This operation is called a craniotomy. If that can extracts the doctor right away, as much as possible of the tumor away.

What is the Treatment for brain tumor?

The treatment of a brain tumor depends on the type of tumor, where he is, how great he is, how fast he is growing and how many complaints you have. The doctor also takes into account your age and health.
In some tumors wait the doctor rather equally. For example, a benign tumor that grows very slowly and where you have little bothering you. You must remain on control. If the tumor grows, you can be treated.

You often get at a malignant tumor surgery: a craniotomy. The surgeon makes a hatch in the skull and take via this hatch, as much as possible of the tumor away. For this operation you need one to two weeks stay in the hospital. A malignant tumor total removal is not possible. Therefore it follows after surgery radiation therapy to destroy remaining tumor cells as much as possible.

Some people with a brain tumor can not be operated on. For example, if the tumor in a difficult part of the brain and surgery paralyses caused or thinking. Dangerous landscape, small tumors, can sometimes be irradiated. Probably get you a frame around your head. Thus the surgeon determines exactly the place that is to be irradiated. A very high-dose radioactive radiation comes exactly on the tumor. Doctors apply this often in meningiomas.

At most malignant brain tumors you get in addition to surgery and radiation also chemotherapy. Chemotherapy helps especially good at a certain type of glioma. It is also called done at tumors that after previous surgery and radiation therapy are going to grow again.

In addition to the brain tumor itself, also an increased brain pressure be treated quickly. Preferably even before the surgery. That can usually with medications, corticosteroids, or with a drain (a tube that drains cerebrospinal fluid).

Side effects in the treatment of a brain tumor

Brain surgery is a surgery with risks. After the surgery may arise, for example, bleeding or infection. The doctor be careful about how it goes with you after surgery.
After irradiation you are very tired. That is normal. This fatigue will disappear after some time.
Both surgery and radiation therapy provide much moisture around the tumor. As a result, the pressure in the head is increasing. You will be given medication to decrease the intracranial pressure. This is usually a corticosteroid injection.

After surgery, you can (often) get seizures. That does not necessarily mean that the tumor grows. The scar in the brains can cause also. Some doctors prescribe immediate postoperative medication for epilepsy. Other doctors give these medications only when someone actually gets seizures.

Living with a brain tumor

A brain tumor is a serious condition. When you hear that you have a brain tumor, which raises a lot of questions and uncertainty. You arrive in a process right that everyone goes through in their own way. Thereby trying to get the support you need. Good contact with the general practitioner and specialist in the hospital can be a great support.

After treatment for brain tumor control remains necessary. Your specialist will from time to time have an MRI or CT scan's make because the tumor may grow back. It depends very much on circumstances whether a second surgery is possible.

Many people are tired after treatment sooner than before and feel somewhat insecure. The behavior may also change. A person can react faster or emotional tangles. Sometimes understand people around you this is not good. Therefore, try to be open and tell people in the immediate area what is going on.
Whether you can drive yourself after the treatment is laid down in directives.

Life expectancy for people with a brain tumor is very different. In a malignant tumor, life expectancy is limited. In a benign tumor can fully heal. How the future will look like your doctor can estimate the best. Is this expectation very bleak, it is wise to think about your further treatment. You may decide to draw up a care certificate. In it you define what care you want to have when you did not own more can decide on.

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