As many people know, cases of cancer are on the rise across the board. This includes everything from lung cancer to brain cancer, all of which start from a mass of quickly developing cells. Although not every type of tumor contains cancer cells, most of the ones in the brain end up being malignant and as a result are the cause of over 2% of cancer deaths (over 4,000 people) in the United States per year. Although brain cancer only accounts for about 1% of cancer diagnoses, it is still very dangerous and something to be very cautious of. Obviously, the brain is the home of all higher functionality in a person and as a result the onset of a tumor can be extremely dangerous. Not only can a brain tumor, even if it is benign, cause impairment in brain function, it can also lead to blockages or other issues.
Brain tumors occur when a growth of rapidly developing cells and can affect both children and adults. Last year in the United States there were over 2,000 cases of children under 20 being diagnosed with a brain tumor. Luckily, the survival rate in children of this age group is around 60% or higher.
Some symptoms of brain tumor are headaches or constant feelings of pressure in the head. There are many cases of patients going to see a doctor for headache related problems and finding out that they have a brain tumor. Other symptoms include decreased mental functionality or impaired motor functionality. Since the brain controls all thought and movement, any kind of extraneous growth in that area can cause a malfunction in the area of the brain in which it is located. Although most of the time the damage cause by a tumor can be resolved upon removal, there are cases when permanent damage might occur. Although this is beyond this scope of this article, you should talk to your doctor if you concerns about this.
Diagnosis of a brain tumor involves a series of scans, such as X-Ray’s, PET scans, and EEG’s. If a brain tumor is found, your doctor will probably perform a biopsy to determine whether the tumor is malignant or benign. This involves removing a portion of the skin or tissue around the tumor.
Treatment of a brain tumor is pretty straight forward. Most of the time, if the tumor is not cancerous, then surgery will be performed to remove it. If it is cancerous, a doctor might decide to use a variety of treatment options, including chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery. Most often, your doctor will use a combination of these treatment methods in order to both reduce the size of the growth and impair growth all together. This makes removal a much easier and cleaner process and help to make sure that the cancer does not spread. As new technologies develop, removing cancer cells via gamma knife are making the process much easier and safer. Recovery rates are constantly improving and most people that catch the cancer in early stages of growth are fortunate enough to recover fully.
Having a brain tumor is certainly no laughing matter, but fortunately there are symptoms that can help you easily discover the problem, which can ultimately lead to successful treatment and recovery. If you suffer from constant headaches, decreased mental aptitude, or a sudden onset of motor impairment, then I recommend visiting your doctor as soon as possible to make sure that you are not suffering from a brain tumor. Thanks to modern technology, the road to recovery is much easier than it has ever been before.
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