Diet And Brain Tumours
A balanced diet can help you keep your strength and energy up, lower your risk of infection and help you recover well from treatment.
A lot of information about diet and tumours can be found on the internet and in newspapers. Many articles and websites claim to be able to cure or control tumours through diet or various supplements.
But, theres no evidence that shows any specific food or diet is associated with the development, management or treatment of brain tumours.
Controlling your diet, however, may help to improve your quality of life and manage the side-effects of treatment.
You should always speak to your healthcare team if you are concerned about your diet and before making any significant changes to your diet.
Benefits of eating a healthy, balanced diet
A healthy, well-balanced diet helps protect against health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer.
Eating well allows you to feel as well as possible and helps your body recover from treatment side-effects by:
- keeping up your strength and energy
- maintaining your weight and your bodys store of nutrients
- lowering your risk of infection
- aiding the healing and recovery process.
Its also essential to drink plenty of fluids before, during and after treatment. This makes sure you’re well hydrated, which helps you:
- process drugs, such as chemotherapy medication
- avoid bladder infections
- prevent constipation.
Ethical diets and religious fasting
How Is A Brain Tumor Diagnosed
Doctors use several tests to confirm the presence of a brain tumor. These tests include:
- Physical exam and medical history: Your doctor will perform a general health exam, looking for signs of diseases or illnesses. Your doctor will also ask questions about past and current health conditions, surgeries and medical treatments and family history of disease.
- Blood test: To check for tumor markers that are linked to certain types of tumors.
- Biopsy: Through a small hole in the skull, a doctor uses a needle to take a sample of tissue from the tumor. A laboratory studies the sample to identify details from the tumor, including how fast it is growing and whether it is spreading.
- Imaging tests:CTs, MRIs, SPECTs and PET scans help doctors locate the tumor and determine if it is cancerous or benign. Your doctor may also look at other parts of the body, such as the lungs, colon or breasts, to identify where the tumor started.
- Neurological exam: During a neurological exam, your doctor will look for changes in your balance, coordination, mental status, hearing, vision and reflexes. These changes can point to the part of your brain that may be affected by a tumor.
- Spinal tap: A doctor uses a small needle to remove fluid from around the spine. A laboratory examines this fluid to look for cancer cells, which can indicate a malignant tumor somewhere in the central nervous system.
Side Effects Of Treatment
Some people who have had a brain tumour can develop side effects from treatment months or years later, such as:
- problems with thinking, memory, language or judgement
Rarely, a stroke might happen.
If you or someone you care for has any worrying symptoms that develop after brain tumour treatment, see your doctor.
If you think it’s a stroke, dial 999 immediately and ask for an ambulance.
What Are The Types Of Brain Tumors
Doctors classify brain and central nervous system tumors based on where they form and the kind of cells they involve.
Brain tumors that are usually benign include:
- Acoustic neuroma:These tumors occur on the vestibular nerve . Acoustic neuromas are also called vestibular schwannomas.
- Gangliocytoma: These central nervous system tumors form in neurons .
- Meningioma:These are the most common type of primary brain tumors. Meningiomas develop slowly. They form in the meninges, the layers of tissue that protect the brain and spinal cord. In rare cases, a meningioma can be malignant.
- Pineocytoma: These slow-growing tumors form in the pineal gland, which is located deep in the brain and secretes the hormone melatonin.
- Pituitary adenoma: These tumors form in the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland makes and controls hormones in the body. Pituitary adenomas are usually very small.
- Chordoma: These slow-growing tumors typically begin at the base of the skull and the bottom part of the spine. They are mostly benign .
Cancerous brain tumors include:
- Glioma:These tumors develop in glial cells, which surround and assist nerve cells. Two-thirds of cancerous primary brain tumors are gliomas. Types of gliomas include:
- Astrocytoma: Astrocytomas form in glial cells called astrocytes.
- Glioblastoma: Aggressive astrocytomas that grow quickly are glioblastomas.
- Oligodendroglioma: These uncommon tumors begin in cells that create myelin .
Brain Cancer Treatment Overview
Treatment of brain cancer is usually complex. Most treatment plans involve several doctors. Your team might include:
- Radiation oncologists
- Your primary doctor
Your team may also include a dietitian, a social worker, a physical therapist, and other specialists.
The most widely used treatments are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. In most cases, more than one of these is used.
The treatment you get will depend on:
- The type of tumor
- The size and location of the tumor
- Your age and overall health
- The risks of a particular treatment
- Other medical problems you have
- The treatment you most prefer
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Brain Cancer Treatment Follow
Brain tumor surgery usually requires at least a few days of recovery in the hospital. The time could be longer depending on your age, overall health, and the type of treatment. You may need chemotherapy or radiation therapy after surgery. That could also affect how much time you spend in the hospital.
You may get painless tests, like computed tomography and MRI, during recovery. Both of these provide doctors with images of the brain to help them see if there have been any changes.
Depending on your condition, you may need a stay in a rehabilitation center.
A team of doctors and nurses will care for you. Together, theyâll come up with a post-surgery treatment and recovery plan. Some of the specialists you may see include:
- A neurologist to evaluate and treat conditions of the nervous system
- A physical therapist to help with walking and other large-muscle activities
- An occupational therapist to help with smaller muscle function, such as using eating utensils, buttoning a shirt, brushing teeth, and similar activities
- A speech therapist to help improve talking and communication skills
- An ophthalmologist to check your vision
- An audiologist to check your hearing
- A psychiatrist or psychologist to evaluate any changes in your memory, intelligence, and other mental skills
What Other Risk Factors For Brain Cancer Are Scientists Studying
Scientists are studying other possible risk factors for cancer of the brain and other parts of the nervous system such as electromagnetic fields, use of cellular phones, viruses, injuries, and diet. Exposure to chemicals in the workplace such as petroleum products, vinyl chloride and others may also be associated with an increased risk of getting brain cancer. Additional research is needed to determine the role, if any, these factors may have in the development of brain cancer.
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Brain Cancer Clinical Trials
Researchers use clinical trials to test the effects of new medications on a group of volunteers with brain cancer. They follow strict rules and create carefully controlled conditions to figure out how well the drug treats brain cancer, how safe it is, and if there are any side effects.
If you join a clinical trial, you might get a new therapy that may be more effective than existing therapies or have fewer side effects. The disadvantage is that the new therapy has not been proven to work or may not work in everyone.
To find out more about clinical trials, ask your oncologist. Or check these sites for information and services to help you find a clinical trial thatâs right for you.
- TrialCheck. Lets you search for cancer trials based on disease and location.
- National Cancer Institute. Lists more than 12,000 cancer clinical trials, along with descriptions, eligibility criteria, and instructions on what to do when you find one you think is right for you.
- ClinicalTrials.gov. Offers up-to-date information on clinical trials in the U.S. and around the world.
- CenterWatch. Lists industry-sponsored clinical trials.
Strategy #7 Be Wary Of Mobile Devices
The electromagnetic field emitted by cell phones is categorized as a possible human carcinogen by the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer . Radiofrequency originates from both the device and battery which has been found in one study to impact the survival rate of brain tumor patients.
The Interphone Study collaborated amongst researchers internationally found that cell phone use elevates ones risk of brain tumors and is directly correlated with age and duration of use. Adolescents are most at risk of hazardous exposure because the brain is developing causing a greater likelihood for abnormal cell growth. Use of a cell phone before the age of 20 and continued use for a duration longer than 10 years is directly associated with severe brain cancer diagnosis.
Avoiding the cell phone all together in todays modern age is nearly impossible, but there are a few strategies which can help reduce your exposure to its radiation:
- Text instead of talk
- Delay giving your child a cell phone
- Talk only when the reception signal is strong
- Shut off wireless devices when possible and never sleep with a device in the bedroom, and especially near your head
Please share this information with friends and family. It could save someones life!
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Nonsurgical Brain Tumor Treatments
Doctors can treat some brain tumors without surgery. Treatments include:
Chemotherapy: A combination of medications used to kill cancer cells. Through genetic testing and innovative delivery methods, UCLA Health offers personalized chemotherapy plans for people with brain tumors.
Radiation therapy: For more aggressive tumors, our radiation oncologists target and kill malignant cells with high levelsof radiation.
Targeted therapy: Therapies that attack specific parts or functions of brain cancer cells or boost the bodys natural ability to fight tumor cells.
Clinical trials: From personalized cancer vaccines to leading-edge glioblastoma medications, UCLA Healths Brain Tumor Center discovers and develops first-of-its-kind treatments for a wide range of brain cancers.
Brain Cancer Survival Rate
Survival rates in brain cancer vary widely. The major things that influence survival are the type of cancer, its location, whether it started in your brain or spread there from somewhere else in your body, whether it can be surgically removed or reduced in size, your age, and other medical problems.
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The Brain Tumor Conditions And Treatment Options
An abnormal cell mass or growth in your brain is a brain tumor. There are a wide variety of brain tumors. Certain brain tumors are non-cancerous and some are cancerous . Brain tumors may grow in the brain as tumors, or cancer may begin elsewhere in your corpus and spread to the brain.
It can vary greatly how fast a brain tumor develops. The rate of growth and location of a tumor will determine how your nervous system functions.
Measures That Can Help Maintain Health And Vitality Include The Following:
- Continue some type of exercise. For many of our patients, a program of exercise walking is helpful, no matter what the distance
- Eat a fairly healthy balanced diet that includes some protein and some vegetables. For most people, a drastic change in diet is not recommended.
- Many brain tumor patients experience constipation, sometimes worsened by medications. Consider a high fiber diet, extra fruits and vegetables, a natural over-the-counter stool softener , and liquid milk of magnesia
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What Are The Risk Factors For Brain Tumors In Children
A risk factor is anything that increases a childs risk of developing a brain tumor. As stated above, scientists believe that the vast majority of cases of childhood brain tumors are caused by random gene mutations. Gene mutations are a natural part of human biology and usually do not have a specific or identifiable cause. Therefore, there are very few known risk factors linked to the development of brain tumors in children, with two notable exceptions. Those are:
- Radiation exposure: Exposure to large amounts of radiation has been linked to several types of cancer, including brain tumors in children. While low-level radiation exposure is an accepted aspect of todays medical care , the medical community goes to great lengths to protect children from high dosages of radiation exposure.
However, radiation therapy has proven to be an effective tool when fighting some types of cancer. While most oncologists will limit or avoid altogether the use of radiation when treating very young children, in some cases, the benefits of treating the immediate threat posed by cancer must be weighed against the potential risk of developing a brain tumor or other secondary cancer in the future.
- Inherited genetic conditions: In a very small number of cases , children have an inherited genetic condition that might potentially increase the risk of developing a brain tumor. Although these conditions themselves are very, very rare, some have been linked to an elevated risk for brain tumors:
Brain Tumor Vs Brain Cancer
All brain cancers are tumors, but not all brain tumors are cancerous. Noncancerous brain tumors are called benign brain tumors.
Benign brain tumors typically grow slowly, have distinct borders and rarely spread. Benign tumors can still be dangerous. They can damage and compress parts of the brain, causing severe dysfunction. Benign brain tumors located in a vital area of the brain can be life-threatening. Very rarely, a benign tumor can become malignant. Examples of typically benign tumors include meningioma, vestibular schwannoma and pituitary adenoma.
Malignant brain tumors are cancerous. They typically grow rapidly and invade surrounding healthy brain structures. Brain cancer can be life-threatening due to the changes it causes to the vital structures of the brain. Some examples of malignant tumors that originate in or near the brain include olfactory neuroblastoma, chondrosarcoma and medulloblastoma.
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Family History And Genetic Conditions
Your risk is higher than other people in the general population if you have a close relative who has had a brain tumour. A close relative is a parent, sibling or child.
A small proportion of brain tumours are related to known genetic conditions. People who have one of these rare syndromes have an increased risk of getting a brain tumour.
These syndromes include:
- neurofibromatosis type 1 and type 2
- tuberous sclerosis
Brain Cancer Support Groups Information And Counseling
Living with cancer presents many new challenges for the patient and their family and friends.
- Patients have many worries about how the cancer will affect them and their ability to “live a normal life,” that is, to care for family and home, to hold a job, and to continue friendships and activities.
- Many people feel anxious and depressed. Some people feel angry and resentful others feel helpless and defeated.
For most people with cancer, talking about their feelings and concerns helps.
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Strategy #5 Ketogenic Diet
Dr. Otto Warburg first theorized in the early 20th century that cancer cells thrive off the energy from altered states of respiration. Glucose is a source of energy for healthy brain cells but cancer cells rely solely on glucose metabolism to survive . Brain tumors, however, cannot metabolize ketones produced by the body during the metabolic state of ketosis like healthy cells can.
Ketones are therefore an excellent energy source for neurons and are produced in the body during conditions of low glucose. Consuming a diet containing an adequate amount of proteins, healthy fats, and low carbohydrates triggers ketone production and can starve off malignant cell growth. A ketogenic diet reduces oxidative stress and inflammation in the brain and shuts down the nutrient supply to tumors.
How To Prevent Brain Tumor
Youve already received contradictory information on cancer prevention. A cancer-prevention tip that is approved in one study could be cautioned against in another. What is learned about cancer prevention is often changing. However, it is widely acknowledged that your lifestyle decisions influence your risk of developing cancer. So, if youre involved in cancer prevention, know that simple lifestyle improvement will make a difference. Consider the following cancer-prevention advice. Visit International Association of Cancer Registries for more details on the same.
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Radiation Therapy For Brain Cancer
Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to kill tumor cells, stopping them from growing and spreading.
- Radiation therapy may be used for people who cannot have surgery. Itâs also used after surgery to kill any tumor cells that may remain.
- Radiation therapy is a local therapy. This means that it usually does not harm cells elsewhere in the body or even elsewhere in the brain.
Radiation can be given in the following ways:
- External radiation uses a high-energy beam of radiation targeted at the tumor. The beam travels through the skin, the skull, healthy brain tissue, and other tissues to get to the tumor. The treatments are usually given 5 days. Each treatment takes only a few minutes.
- Internal or implant radiation uses a tiny radioactive capsule that is placed inside the tumor. The radiation from the capsule destroys the tumor. The radioactivity of the capsule decreases a little bit each day and is carefully calculated to run out when the optimal dose has been given. You need to stay in the hospital for several days while receiving this treatment.
- Stereotactic radiosurgery destroys a brain tumor without opening the skull. A single large dose of high-energy radiation beams is trained on the tumor from different angles. The radiation destroys the tumor. Stereotactic radiosurgery has fewer complications than regular surgery and a shorter recovery time.
The side effects of radiation include:
Chemotherapy is the use of powerful medicines to kill tumor cells.