Who Is Diagnosed With Oligodendrogliomas
Oligodendrogliomas occur most often in people between the ages of 35 and 44, but can occur at any age. Oligodendrogliomas occur more often in males and are rare in children. They are most common in white and non-hispanic people. An estimated 11,757 people are living with this tumor in the United States.
How Are Gliomas Diagnosed
If a brain tumor is suspected, a brain scan is typically done. This includes a CT scan, an MRI scan , or both. If the brain scan suggests a brain tumor, a biopsy may be performed for diagnosis. A biopsy may be done as a separate procedure or at the time the tumor is removed if surgery is a treatment option. When a biopsy is done separately either because you are too ill or the tumor is in a critical part of your brain, doctors can perform a procedure called: stereotactic needle biopsy. It is used to take a sample of the tumor by inserting a needle through the skull into the brain itself.
If Your Brain Tumour Can’t Be Cured
Some brain tumours grow very slowly and;cannot be cured. Depending on your age at;diagnosis,;the tumour may eventually cause your death. Or you may live a full life and die from something else. It will depend on your tumour type, where;it is in;the brain, and how it responds to treatment.;
Brain tumours can also be;fast growing and come;back despite treatment.;
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Where Do Oligodendrogliomas Form
Oligodendrogliomas are commonly found in the white matter and the outer layer of the brain, called the cortex, but can form anywhere in the CNS. These tumors are called oligodendrogliomas because the cells resemble oligodendrocytes, a type of brain cell that supports and insulates nerve fibers in the CNS.
What Happens At The End
What happens at the end depends on how your brain tumour develops. Talk to your doctor or specialist nurse. They know your situation and might be able to give you specific information about what might happen.;
When brain tumours grow very large, the pressure inside your head increases, causing drowsiness.;At first it might be possible to control this by increasing your steroid dose. Eventually the steroids will not be able to reduce the swelling any further.
You might get headaches and sickness. These can;often be controlled with painkillers and anti sickness medicine. But you might get drowsier and will need to sleep more often. This;can come on;quite suddenly or;slowly. At this stage, you may be able to lead a relatively normal life. But you might sleep more than you used to.;
Some people who have never had seizures , might have some in the last few weeks of their life. Your doctor can;start you on anti epileptic;medication if this happens.;
Gradually you will need to sleep more and more and it may become more difficult to wake you. Eventually, most people slip into unconsciousness. You might;be unconscious for a few days or weeks before you die. During this time you will need nursing care to make you comfortable.;
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What Are The Treatment Options For Oligodendrogliomas
The first treatment for an oligodendroglioma is surgery, if possible. The goal of surgery is to obtain tissue to determine the tumor type and to remove as much tumor as possible without causing more symptoms for the person.;Treatments after surgery may include radiation, chemotherapy, or clinical trials.
Clinical trials, with new chemotherapy, targeted therapy, or immunotherapy drugs, may also be available and can be a possible treatment option. Treatments are decided by the patients healthcare team based on the patients age, remaining tumor after surgery, tumor type, and tumor location.
Open Clinical Studies for Oligodendrogliomas
The Cause Of Brain Cancer Is Usually Unknown
Most people diagnosed with a primary brain tumor do not have any known risk factors. However, certain risk factors and genetic conditions have been shown to increase a persons chances of developing one, including:
- The risk of a brain tumor increases as you age.
- People who have been exposed to ionizing radiationsuch as radiation therapy used to treat cancer and radiation exposure caused by atomic bombs have an increased risk of brain tumor.
- Rare genetic disorders like Von Hippel-Lindau disease, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, and Neurofibromatosis may raise the risk of developing certain types of brain tumors. Otherwise, there is little evidence that brain cancer runs in families.
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When To See Your Gp
It’s important to see a doctor if you develop persistent and worrying symptoms that may be caused by a brain tumour. While it’s unlikely that you have a tumour, it’s best to be sure by getting a proper diagnosis.
If your GP is unable to identify a more likely cause of your symptoms, they may refer you to a neurologist for further assessment and tests, such as a brain scan.
Read more about diagnosing;malignant brain tumours.
What Are The Symptoms Of Glioma
Gliomas cause symptoms by pressing on the brain or spinal cord. The most common, including glioblastoma symptoms are:
Weakness in the arms, face or legs
Glioblastoma symptoms and other symptoms of glioma appear slowly and may be subtle at first. Some gliomas do not cause any symptoms and might be diagnosed when you see the doctor about something else.
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Possible Changes In Circulation And Temperature
- Arms and legs may feel cool to the touch as circulation slows down
- Skin on arms, legs, hands, and feet may darken and look blue or mottled
- Other areas of the body may become either darker or paler
- Skin may feel cold and either dry or damp
- Heart rate may become fast, faint, or irregular
- Blood pressure may get lower and become hard to hear
Signs Of Increased Pressure On The Brain
Common symptoms of increased pressure within the skull include:
- severe, persistent;headaches which are typically worse in the morning or when bending over or coughing
- persistent nausea and vomiting
- vision problems such as;blurred vision,;floaters and;loss of vision that may come and go
- seizures which may affect the whole body or just involve a twitch in one area
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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.
How To Find Support
You may be overwhelmed with organizations offering support, or you may be confused as to how to enroll or whether youre eligible. Though some of these support options happen outside of your care teams facility, speak openly with them about what kind of support you need and any questions to start.
Stay connected with your care team: They know you and they know the battle ahead. They also know which resources have been helpful for other patients, and which resources they may be able to offer. They know that factors such as stress, nutrition and sleeping problems affect your health. Theyre there to help you get what you need.
Lean on friends and family: Interactions with friends and family may be different when a cancer diagnosis is involved. Odds are that your support system wants to help, but theyll know the best ways to help if you tell them yourself. Dont be afraid to ask for what you need, whether its company on the ride to an appointment or help with household chores.
Look for support groups: If you have stage 3 cancer, youre joining a host of others who have walked a similar path. Youre not alone. Participating in a support group may help you feel more connected and understood. Both the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute have tools to help you find resources for cancer support in your area.
What Is A Glioma
Glioma is a common type of tumor originating in the brain. About 33 percent of all brain tumors are gliomas, which originate in the glial cells that surround and support neurons in the brain, including astrocytes, oligodendrocytes and ependymal cells.
Gliomas are called intra-axial brain tumors because they grow within the substance of the brain and often mix with normal brain tissue.
Symptoms Diagnosis Treatment And Prognosis
Stage 3 colon cancer is the stage of the disease when the tumor has spread beyond the lining of the colon to nearby lymph nodes. Although the lymph nodes will contain cancer cells, the disease will not yet have spread to distant organs.
With treatment, many stage 3 colon cancers can be placed into remission, meaning that the signs and symptoms of cancer will have disappeared, in some cases forever. At other times, the remission may be partial and the treatment will be used to slow disease progression, improve a person’s prognosis, and increase survival times.
With improved therapies and treatment protocols, people with stage 3 colon cancer are living longer than ever.
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What Are The Risk Factors
The only confirmed risk factor is radiation therapy to the head and neck, but the vast majority of glioblastomas occur randomly, according to the American Brain Tumor Association.
Its a mistake in cell division that could happen at any time. Thankfully, its rare, Dr. Steven Kalkanis, chair of neurosurgery at Henry Ford Health System and medical director of the Henry Ford Cancer Institute in Detroit, told TODAY.
Men are more likely than women to develop glioblastoma and theres evidence women respond better to treatment, according to the National Cancer Institute.
At this time, theres no known way to reduce your risk, the American Cancer Society advises. The most important thing you can do is not to ignore the warning signs.
Tumor Grading And Its Meaning
According to the World Health Organization classifications of brain tumors, astrocytomas range from grade 1 to grade 4 . This grading, which is made by analyzing the tumor cells under the microscope is based on the following features: 1) how abnormal the cells look like ; 2) how much they grow ; 3) presence of newly made blood vessels within the tumor . This is further integrated by the analysis of tumors genetic features, i.e. the DNA analysis of the tumor cells. Generally, with the exception of grade 1 tumors, which are most common in the pediatric population, most astrocytomas affect patients older than 40. Also, the older the patient, the higher the chances of the astrocytoma to be of higher grade.
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Get Your Free Information Pack
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a brain tumour and you dont know which way to turn, start with our free Information Pack.
High grade brain tumours are:
- fast growing
- can be referred to as ‘malignant’ or ‘cancerous’ growths
- more likely to spread to other parts of the brain
- may come back, even if intensively treated.
Grade 3 and 4 tumours are high grade, fast growing and can be referred to as ‘malignant’ or ‘cancerous’ growths.
They are more likely to spread to other parts of the brain and may come back, even if intensively treated. They cannot usually be treated by surgery alone, but often require other treatments, such as radiotherapy and/or chemotherapy.
Musculoskeletal Tumor Society Staging System
A system commonly used to stage bone cancer is the MSTS system, also known as the Enneking system. It is based on 3 key pieces of information:
- The grade of the cancer, which is a measure of how likely it is to grow and spread, based on how it looks under the microscope. In this system, cancers are either low grade or high grade . Low-grade cancer cells look more like normal cells and are less likely to grow and spread quickly, while high-grade cancer cells look more abnormal.
- The extent of the primary tumor , which is classified as either intracompartmental , meaning it has basically remained within the bone, or extracompartmental , meaning it has grown beyond the bone into other nearby structures.
- If the tumor has metastasized , which means it has spread to other areas, either to nearby lymph nodes or other organs. Tumors that have not spread to the lymph nodes or other organs are considered M0, while those that have spread are M1.
These factors are combined to give an overall stage, using Roman numerals from I to III. Stages I and II are divided into A for intracompartmental tumors or B for extracompartmental tumors.
- Low-grade, localized tumors are stage I.
- High-grade, localized tumors are stage II.
- Metastatic tumors are stage III.
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Can Mobile Phones Cause Brain Tumours
There have been;reports in the media about a possible connection between brain tumours and the radiofrequency energy emitted by mobile phones. RF energy produces heat, which can increase body temperature and damage tissue exposed to it.
However, it’s thought that the amount of RF energy people are exposed to from mobile phones is too low to produce significant tissue heating or an increase in body temperature.
Research is underway to establish whether RF energy has any long-term health effects, but the balance of evidence currently available suggests that it’s unlikely;mobile phones cause health problems.
Why Is The Grade Important
Accurate diagnosis is important as it allows your medical team to give you information about how the tumour could behave in the future, and also to recommend treatment options. This could include a clinical trial.
Sometimes confirming the grade can be difficult as some low grade and high grade tumours can look very similar.
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Typically Brain Tumors Dont Have Obvious Symptoms
Headaches that get worse over time are a symptom of many ailments including brain tumors. Other symptoms may include personality changes, eye weakness, nausea or vomiting, difficulty speaking or comprehending and short-term memory loss.
Even benign or non-cancerous tumors can be serious and life threatening. If you experience these symptoms, speak with your doctor;right away.;
Diagnosing Malignant Brain Tumours
See your GP if you develop any of the symptoms of a malignant brain tumour, such as a persistent and severe headache.
Your GP will;examine you and ask about your symptoms. They may also carry out a simple neurological examination .
If they suspect you may have a tumour, or they are not sure what’s causing your symptoms, you’ll probably be referred to a neurologist .
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How Brain Tumours Are Graded
Brain tumours are graded 1-4 according to their behaviour, such as the speed at which they are growing, and how likely they are to spread into other areas of the brain. Over time, some brain tumour’s behaviour can change and the tumour may become, or come back as, a higher grade tumour.
Each year in the UK, approximately 4,300 people are diagnosed with low grade, slow growing brain tumours and 5,000 with high grade fast growing brain tumours. Combined, this represents less than 2 out of every 10,000 people in the UK.
Brain tumours are graded from 1 4 depending on how they are likely to behave.
Confirming the diagnosis of the different grades of brain tumours is done, where possible, by analysing cells from the tumour, taken during a biopsy or during surgery. A neuropathologist examines the cells in the laboratory, looking for particular cell patterns that are characteristic of the different types and grade of brain tumour.
Actions to take
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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Astrocytomas Including Glioblastoma Multiforme
Astrocytomas are the most common type of glioma, accounting for about half of all childhood brain tumors. They are most common in children between the ages of 5 and 8.
The tumors develop from glial cells called astrocytes, most often in the cerebrum , but also in the cerebellum .
The grade of an astrocytoma is important. Your childs treatment will be based on whether or not the tumor is slow-growing or fast-growing . Most astrocytomas in children are low-grade. Sometimes they begin in the spine or spread there.
There are four main types of astrocytomas in children:
Pilocytic astrocytoma : This slow-growing tumor is the most common brain tumor found in children. Pilocytic astrocytoma is often cystic . When this tumor develops in the cerebellum, surgical removal is often the only treatment necessary. Pilocytic astrocytomas growing in other locations may require other therapies.
Diffuse astrocytoma : This brain tumor infiltrates the surrounding normal brain tissue, making complete surgical removal more difficult. A fibrillary astrocytoma may cause seizures.
Anaplastic astrocytoma : This brain tumor is malignant. Symptoms depend on the location of the tumor. These tumors require a combination of treatments.
Glioblastoma multiforme : This is the most malignant type of astrocytoma. It grows rapidly, and often causes pressure in the brain. These tumors require a combination of treatments.