What Are The Grades For Benign And Cancerous Brain Tumors
Doctors group brain tumors by grade. The grade of a tumor refers to the way the cells look under a microscope:
- Grade I: The tissue is benign. The cells look nearly like normal brain cells, and they grow slowly.
- Grade II: The tissue is malignant. The cells look less like normal cells than do the cells in a Grade I tumor.
- Grade III: The malignant tissue has cells that look very different from normal cells. The abnormal cells are actively growing .
- Grade IV: The malignant tissue has cells that look most abnormal and tend to grow quickly.
Cells from low-grade tumors look more normal and generally grow more slowly than cells from high-grade tumors . Over time, a low-grade tumor may become a high-grade tumor. However, the change to a high-grade tumor happens more often among adults than children.
Are Headaches Caused By A Brain Tumour
Headaches are one of the main symptoms of a brain tumour, but of course there can be many reasons for having a headache. Headaches caused by a brain tumour tend to:
- Be severe and persistent
- Often worse in the morning
- Get worse over a number of days
- Give stabbing pains if you do anything that increases the pressure in your head, for example coughing, shouting, bending over or doing exercise.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Brain Tumor
Some people with a brain or central nervous system tumor have no symptoms. In some cases, doctors discover a tumor during treatment for another issue.
As a brain tumor grows and presses on surrounding nerves or blood vessels, it may cause symptoms. Signs and symptoms of a brain tumor vary depending on the tumorâs location and type, size and what the affected part of the brain controls. They can include:
- Headaches that are ongoing or severe or that occur in the morning or go away after vomiting.
- Behavior or personality changes.
- Trouble with memory, thinking, speaking or understanding language.
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Should You Ask For A Second Opinion Before You Start Treatment For A Brain Tumor
Before starting treatment, you might want a second opinion about your diagnosis and treatment plan. Some people worry that the doctor will be offended if they ask for a second opinion. Usually the opposite is true. Most doctors welcome a second opinion. And many health insurance companies will pay for a second opinion if you or your doctor requests it. Some companies require a second opinion.
If you get a second opinion, the doctor may agree with your first doctor’s diagnosis and treatment plan. Or the second doctor may suggest another approach. Either way, you’ll have more information and perhaps a greater sense of control. You can feel more confident about the decisions you make, knowing that you’ve looked at your options.
It may take some time and effort to gather your medical records and see another doctor. In many cases, it’s not a problem to take several weeks to get a second opinion. The delay in starting treatment usually won’t make treatment less effective. To make sure, you should discuss this delay with your doctor. Some people with a brain tumor need treatment right away.
There are many ways to find a doctor for a second opinion. You can ask your doctor, a local or state medical society, a nearby hospital, or a medical school for names of specialists.
Also, you can request a consultation with specialists at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.
What Is Chemotherapy Treatment For Brain Tumors
Chemotherapy, the use of drugs to kill cancer cells, is sometimes used to treat brain tumors. Drugs may be given in the following ways:
- : Chemotherapy may be given during and after radiation therapy. The drugs enter the bloodstream and travel throughout the body. They may be given in an outpatient part of the hospital, at the doctor’s office, or at home. Rarely, you may need to stay in the hospital. The side effects of chemotherapy depend mainly on which drugs are given and how much. Common side effects include nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, headache, fever and chills, and weakness. If the drugs lower the levels of healthy blood cells, you’re more likely to get infections, bruise or bleed easily, and feel very weak and tired. Your health care team will check for low levels of blood cells. Some side effects may be relieved with medicine.
- In wafers that are put into the brain: For some adults with high-grade glioma, the surgeon implants several wafers into the brain. Each wafer is about the size of a dime. Over several weeks, the wafers dissolve, releasing the drug into the brain. The drug kills cancer cells. It may help prevent the tumor from returning in the brain after surgery to remove the tumor. People who receive an implant that contains a drug are monitored by the health care team for signs of infection after surgery. An infection can be treated with an antibiotic.
Questions to ask your doctor before starting chemotherapy treatment for a brain tumor
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What Other Issues Should Caregivers Be Aware Of
Its just as important for caregivers to take care of their own health at this time. Family and caregivers are affected by their loved ones health more than they realize. Taking care of a sick person often causes physical and emotional fatigue, stress, depression, and anxiety. Because of this, its important for caregivers to take care of their own body, mind, and spirit. Helping themselves will give them more energy, help them cope with stress, and cause them to be better caregivers as a result.Its also helpful if caregivers ask for support from friends and family members. Such help is important to help lessen the many tasks involved in taking care of a loved one who is sick or dying.
How Does The Doctor Know If Its Cancer
If you have symptoms that might be caused by colorectal cancer or if a screening test shows something not normal, your doctor will want to do more testing to find the cause.
Your doctor will ask about your medical history to learn about possible risk factors, including check for symptoms and. It’s important to know your family history. You will also be asked if youre having any symptoms and, if so, when they started and how long youve had them.
You might be able to have a virtual visit to talk with your doctor about symptoms or risk factors that might be worrying you. But, depending on your symptoms, your doctor might want you to schedule an in-person visit so you can be examined. As part of a physical exam, your doctor will carefully feel your abdomen for masses or enlarged organs, and also examine the rest of your body. You may also have a digital rectal exam . During this test, the doctor inserts a lubricated, gloved finger into your rectum to feel for any abnormal areas.
Your doctor may also want you to get more tests such as:
Other tests, such as MRI scans, x-rays and blood tests may also be done to look at how big the cancer is and whether it has spread.
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What Is Radiation Treatment For Brain Tumors
Radiation therapy kills brain tumor cells with high-energy x-rays, gamma rays, or protons.
Radiation therapy usually follows surgery. The radiation kills tumor cells that may remain in the area. Sometimes, people who can’t have surgery have radiation therapy instead.
Doctors use external and internal types of radiation therapy to treat brain tumors:
Some people have no or few side effects after treatment. Rarely, people may have nausea for several hours after external radiation therapy. The health care team can suggest ways to help you cope with this problem. Radiation therapy also may cause you to become very tired with each radiation treatment. Resting is important, but doctors usually advise people to try to stay as active as they can.
Also, external radiation therapy commonly causes hair loss from the part of the head that was treated. Hair usually grows back within a few months. Radiation therapy also may make the skin on the scalp and ears red, dry, and tender. The health care team can suggest ways to relieve these problems.
Questions to ask your doctor before starting radiation treatment
What Are The Early Warning Symptoms And Signs Of A Brain Tumor
Cancer that has spread to the brain from another part of the body is called a metastatic brain tumor. Metastatic brain tumors are much more common than primary tumors.
The symptoms of a brain tumor depend on tumor size, type, and location. Symptoms may be caused when a tumor presses on a nerve or harms a part of the brain. Also, they may be caused when a tumor blocks the fluid that flows through and around the brain, or when the brain swells because of the buildup of fluid.
The most common early warning symptoms and signs of brain tumors include:
When most normal cells grow old or get damaged, they die, and new cells take their place. Sometimes, this process goes wrong. New cells form when the body doesn’t need them, and old or damaged cells don’t die as they should. The buildup of extra cells often forms a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor. There are two types of brain tumors, primary and cancerous.
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What Are The Signs That The Person Has Died
- The person is no longer breathing and doesnt have a pulse.
- Their eyes dont move or blink, and the pupils are dilated . The eyelids may be slightly open.
- The jaw is relaxed and the mouth is slightly open.
- The body releases the bowel and bladder contents.
- The person doesnt respond to being touched or spoken to.
- The persons skin is very pale and cool to the touch.
First Know That Brain Tumors Are Very Rare
Not to dismiss anyones concerns, but theres a good reason to pull yourself out of that worry spiral: According to the American Cancer Society, your lifetime risk of developing a malignant brain or spinal cord tumor is less than 1%. And when primary brain tumors do happen , two-thirds of them arent cancerous, says the American Brain Tumor Association. In terms of whos at risk of brain cancer, The only known risk factors are exposure to radiation and/or a family history with genetic predisposition to certain tumors or cancers, says Dr. Porter.
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After A Diagnosis Of Brain Cancer
After finding out you have brain cancer, you may feel shocked, upset, anxious or confused. These are normal responses. A diagnosis of brain cancer affects each person differently. For most it will be a difficult time, however some people manage to continue with their normal daily activities.
Your specialist will arrange for a range of health professionals to plan your treatment. This will be based on several factors including the type, size, location and genetic make-up of the cancer as well as, your age and general health, the types of symptoms you have and your needs and preferences.
Find out more about the best cancer care for brain cancer:
How To Tell If Lung Cancer Has Spread To Brain
What the worst scenario of lung cancer is when it has spread . For such case, the disease is less likely to respond to any treatment and therefore it becomes more difficult to treat. The metastasis of this cancer can spread anywhere, but it is likely to spread to particular places in the body . How to tell if it has spread to brain?
This is the most advanced stage of lung cancer. It is also the time of when the disease has the worst prognosis and outlook.
Over time, the cancerous tumor in lung grows and become bigger. Eventually, the cancer cells break away from the primary tumor and travel through bloodstream or/and lymphatic system and they can travel throughout the body.
In other parts of the body, they can grow and make a new cancerous tumor called secondary cancer. The metastasis of lung cancer is likely to cause secondary cancer in the lymph nodes, liver, adrenal glands, bones, and brain.
For summary, the stage IV means you have one or some of the following conditions:
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The metastatic cancer can be found at the first diagnosis of the disease. In a few cases, some patients may also have the advanced stage even though they have followed the cancer treatment.
What are the symptoms if lung cancer has spread to brain?
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Where To Go If You Need Brain Tumor Treatment
If you are diagnosed with a brain tumor, Dr. Ahluwaliasays youll get the best care at a brain tumor center of excellence.
These centers specialize in multidisciplinary treatment forbrain tumors, he explains. You have neurosurgeons who treat patients withbrain tumors every day of the week. You also have radiation oncologists and neuro-oncologistsor medical oncologists who primarily treat patients with brain tumors.
These centers usually offer opportunities to participate in clinical trials, too. So if a tumor has limited treatment options, a brain tumor center can give you access to promising new drugs or immunotherapies that may effectively treat it.
Personality And Behaviour Changes
Behaviour changes often depend on the location of the tumour in the brain. Tumours in the frontal, temporal and parietal lobes can affect behaviour.
Frontal lobe: movement, intelligence, reasoning, behaviour, memory, personality, planning, decision making, judgment, initiative, inhibition, mood.
Temporal lobe: speech, behaviour, memory, hearing, vision, emotions.
Parietal lobe: intelligence, reasoning, telling right from left, language, sensation, reading.
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Is Your Nosebleed Or Headache A Sign Of Brain Cancer
Sometimes, people with a brain tumor do not show any typical symptoms. Or, certain symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not a brain tumor, which is not uncommon since these symptoms can be indicative of various conditions.
For example, nosebleeds are indicative of a number of non-threatening conditions, such as:
- Dry air
- Aggressive blowing, picking, or irritation to the nasal blood vessels
- Quick changes in temperature
- High blood pressure
- Nasal polyps, non-cancerous growths inside the nose or sinuses.
In many cases, a nosebleed is not likely to indicate a brain tumor. Of course, if a person is concerned about any suspicious symptoms, he/she should speak with a doctor.
Brain Tumor Warning Signs You Should Know
According to the American Brain Tumor Association, nearly 80,000 new cases of primary brain tumors tumors that originate in the brain are expected to be diagnosed this year.
Brain tumors do not discriminate. They come in all shapes and sizes, and so do their symptoms. The key to understanding a tumors symptoms is largely dependent on its location in the brain. For example, if a tumor is positioned in the part of your brain responsible for controlling your arms or your vision, your symptoms may include weakness in the limbs and blurry vision. However, when you consider that the brain is responsible for controlling and interpreting information from every part of your body it is easy to see why the list of symptoms that can be associated with a brain tumor is extremely varied.
There are still some signs and symptoms that are more common than others. Here are six common symptoms to look for:
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Everything Else You Need To Know
What causes a tumor? Schwartz says some genetic disorders can lead to brain tumors. “But the majority of tumors arise in people with no known risk factors or predisposing factors,” he explains. Children and adults over 60 are more likely to develop tumors, but “everyone is at risk at any age,” he adds.
Despite what you may have heard, cell phones are not a known risk factor. “That’s a common misconception, but there’s no compelling evidence that pushes us to consider a link between cell phones and tumors,” he says.
For large or malignant brain tumors, treatments could involve surgery, medications, radiation, or chemotherapy. The good news: Not all brain tumors are serious. “Many tumors are small and benign, and require no treatment,” Schwartz explains. “If we find one, we’ll just monitor it for growth or changes.”