A Brain Tumor is an abnormal growth of cells in the brain, which can be cancerous or non-cancerous (benign).
- Radiation to the head
- An inherited (genetic) risk
- HIV infection
- Cigarette smoking
- Environmental toxins (for example, chemicals used in oil refineries, embalming chemicals, rubber industry chemicals)
- Low blood pressure and Eye problems
- Sensitivity to heat or cold
- Changes in the person’s mental function
- Headaches, Seizures, Clumsiness and Dizziness
- Weakness in one part of the body
- Change in alertness (including sleepiness, unconsciousness, and coma)
- Changes in hearing, taste or smell and ability to feel pain, pressure, different temperatures, or other stimuli
- Confusion or Memory loss
- Difficulty swallowing, writing or reading
- Lack of control over the bladder or bowels
- Loss of balance, coordination
- Numbness or tingling on one side of the body
- Personality, mood, behavior, or emotional changes
- Trouble speaking or understanding others who are speaking and walking
- Abnormal nipple discharge
- Absent menstruation (periods)
- Enlarged hands and feet, Excessive body hair and Facial changes
Teams involved in the Treatment:
- Neuro – Oncologist
- Neuro – Surgeon
- Radiation Oncologist
- Family history of brain tumors
- Exposure to Radiation
- Chemical exposure on the job
- Your race
- Your age
If the brain tumor is located in a place that makes it accessible for an operation, your surgeon will work to remove as much of your brain tumor as possible. In some cases, tumors are small and easy to separate from surrounding brain tissue, which makes complete surgical removal possible. In other cases, tumors can’t be separated from surrounding tissue, or they’re located near sensitive areas in your brain, making surgery risky. In these situations, your doctor may try to remove as much of the tumor as is safe. Even removing a portion of the brain tumor may help reduce your signs and symptoms. In some cases, only a small biopsy is taken to confirm the diagnosis.
- Radio Surgery
Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is not a form of surgery in the traditional sense. Instead, radiosurgery uses multiple beams of radiation to give a highly focused form of radiation treatment to kill the tumor cells in a very small area. Each beam of radiation isn’t particularly powerful, but the point where all the beams meet — at the brain tumor — receives a very large dose of radiation from killing the tumor cells. Radiosurgery is typically done in one treatment, and in most cases, you can go home the same day.
- Radiation Therapy
Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to kill tumor cells. Radiation therapy can come from a machine outside your body (external beam radiation), or, in very rare cases, radiation can be placed inside your body close to your brain tumor (brachytherapy).External beam radiation can focus just on the area of your brain where the tumor is located, or it can be applied to your entire brain (whole brain radiation). Whole brain radiation is most often used to treat cancer that has spread to the brain from some other part of the body.
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill tumor cells. Chemotherapy drugs can be taken orally in pill form or injected into a vein (intravenously). The chemotherapy drug used most often to treat brain tumors is temozolomide (Temodar), which is taken as a pill. Many other chemotherapy drugs are available and may be used depending on the type of cancer.Another type of chemotherapy can be placed during surgery. When removing all or part of the brain tumor, your surgeon may place one or more disk-shaped wafers in the space left by the tumor. These wafers slowly release a chemotherapy drug over the next several days.