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. Thats a common misconception, but theres 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, well just monitor it for growth or changes.
This article originally appeared in Prevention magazine. Read the original here.
Neurosurgeon Theodore Schwartz, M.D.Brain tumors come in all shapes and sizesand so do their symptoms.
The key to a tumors symptoms really depends on its location, says Theodore Schwartz, MD, a neurosurgeon with the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center.
For example, if you have a tumor near the part of your brain that controls your arm or your eyesight, your symptoms may include limb weakness or blurry vision, Schwartz says.
Still, some signs and symptoms are more common than others. Heres what to watch out for.
Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Cancer
There is an ongoing concern by a number of people that cell phones cause brain cancer. Some reports in the popular press and some web sites suggest that avoiding cell phone use and using a macrobiotic diet will help avoid brain cancer. This situation has been exacerbated by a recent ruling to put cell phones on a list of items that may cause cancer by the International Agency for Research on Cancer . This was done because the IARC suggested that an increase in gliomas may occur with high use of cell phones. The IARC classified cell phones as group 2b carcinogens these substances are considered possibly carcinogenic, but evidence is limited in both humans and experimental animals. The report does not say that cell phones cause brain cancer.
Teens Brain Tumor Misdiagnosed As Anxiety
Jennifer Mizrahi remembers the first phone call from her daughter telling her, Chasin is panicking! He was in a store with his dad and his older brother and sister, and suddenly the 12-year-old felt strange and nervous. Jennifer tried to reassure Chasin over the phone, telling him to take a deep breath and to drink some water. The whole episode lasted less than a minute and then he was fine. No one paid much attention to this incident it was a one-time thing.
Then it happened again a few months later.
This time Jennifer witnessed the whole episode unfold. He got really nervous, and quickly rattled off, Somethings wrong. I feel really strange, I need to take a walk, I need some water, Jennifer says. He looked alert and his eyes were wide open. Fifty seconds later, he felt fine.
The family pediatricians reaction was that all kids have a little angst and he thought it might be related to stress from Chasins parents divorce. He examined Chasin but never ran any tests. The pediatrician said he thought Chasin was experiencing panic attacks and supported the techniques Jennifer had already taught Chasin: breathe deeply, drink some water, and maybe go for a walk. The doctor didnt think it was anything serious or dangerous. In fact, to make light of Chasins symptoms, he suggested they give the attacks a nickname, Fred.
The Roadblocks and the Signs
Chasin & Jennifer Mizrahi
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Choosing Not To Have Treatment
If your tumour is at an advanced stage or in a difficult place in the brain, a cure may not be possible and treatment may only be able to control the cancer for a period of time. This means you will be getting the side effects of treatment without getting rid of the tumour.
In this situation, it may be difficult to decide whether or not to go ahead with treatment. Talk to your doctor about what will happen if you choose not to be treated, so you can make an informed decision.
If you decide not to have treatment, you will still be given palliative care, which will control your symptoms and make you as comfortable as possible.
What Women Need To Know About Common Benign Brain Tumors
May 1, 2019
Benign brain tumors are mysterious healthoccurrences that we cant fully explain. Doctors sometimes discover thesegrowths by happenstance: An imaging specialist might find a tumor while reviewinga patients images after a car accident, for example.
Whats more curious is that women are atincreased risk compared to men for developing two types of benign brain tumors:meningiomas and pituitary adenomas. But we arent sure why that is the case,either.
One theory about why women develop more benignbrain tumors is that women have higher levels of estrogen than men. When wetest meningiomas, some have estrogen receptors, which means that the tumors canbe fueled by estrogen. This could explain why some meningiomas grow duringpregnancy when hormone levels are higher than normal.
While many unknowns remain, we have plenty offacts about benign brain tumors:
- Women are more than twice aslikely as men to develop meningiomas
- Women are more likely to developpituitary adenomas than men, but the difference is less dramatic
- Lifestyle choices do not appear toaffect a womans risk for either type of tumor
- The majority of benign braintumors do not appear to be genetic
- The only known external risk factoris significant radiation exposure
- Benign brain tumors large andsmall require medical care
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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.
Treatments For Brain Tumors In Dogs
Treatment for a brain tumor in dogs will vary based on the type of tumor that is diagnosed. Since brain tumors in dogs can range from cancer to benign tumors, each dog will require their own treatment plan that is tailored to fit their needs.
- Surgery: In some cases of a benign brain tumor, surgical removal of the tumor can be curative. This will involve the help of a board certified veterinary neurologist that can skillfully remove the brain tumor.
- Chemotherapy: If the tumor is unable to be surgically removed or is the result of metastasis, chemotherapy may be an option. Chemotherapy can help to shrink the tumor, and possibly reduce symptoms due to the change in size. This will often involve the help of a veterinary specialist, though some standard vet clinics can perform chemotherapy.
- Radiation: Radiation can also be used to reduce the size of a brain tumor when surgery is not an option, or can be used after surgery to take care of any tissue that has been left behind. If your dog does require radiation to treat their brain tumor, they will need to seek the help of an experienced radiation therapist.
- Medical Management: Some dogs may benefit from the addition of daily medication. Dogs with brain tumors may require steroids to decrease the severity of symptoms, as well as anti-seizure medications to control their seizure activity.
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What Are The Treatments For Benign And Cancerous Brain Tumors
People with brain tumors have several treatment options. The options are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Many people get a combination of treatments.
The choice of treatment depends mainly are:
- The type and grade of brain tumor
- Its location in the brain
- Its size
- Your age and general health
For some types of brain cancer, the doctor also needs to know whether cancer cells were found in the cerebrospinal fluid.
Your doctor can describe your treatment choices, the expected results, and the possible side effects. Because cancer therapy often damages healthy cells and tissues, side effects are common. Before treatment starts, ask your health care team about possible side effects and how treatment may change your normal activities. You and your health care team can work together to develop a treatment plan that meets your medical and personal needs.
You may want to talk with your doctor about taking part in a clinical trial, a research study of new treatment methods. See the Taking Part in Cancer Research section.
Your doctor may refer you to a specialist, or you may ask for a referral. Specialists who treat brain tumors include neurologists, neurosurgeons, neuro-oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and neuroradiologists.
Questions to ask your doctor before having brain tumor treatment
Can you recommend other doctors who could give me a second opinion about my treatment options? How often should I have checkups?
What Can You Do About Fatigue
The first step in helping to manage fatigue is recognizing and controlling any symptoms that make it worse, like pain, nausea, neuropathy, or constipation. Another step is to try to prevent more fatigue by carefully balancing rest and activity. If you feel tired, stop and rest. Your health care team and your caregivers can help you find ways to manage the things that can make you feel more fatigued. Tell them how you feel, and try different things to see if they help you feel less tired.
Some medicines can make you feel tired, too. They may be needed, but you may want to talk with your health care team to find out if switching to new ones or taking them at different times may help. You might even be able to stop taking certain medicines that arent helping or arent needed any more.
Keep safe when youre active. If youre unsteady on your feet, make sure you have help when walking. You may feel safer if you have a walker or wheelchair. Your doctor or hospice team can help you get the equipment you need to be comfortable and safe. If youre shaky, dont use sharp utensils or other things that might cause injury. If youre able to drive, be careful to not drive when you are feeling fatigue.
Plan activities around the times you feel the best and have the most energy. Sit outside, listen to music, go for a ride in the car, spend time watching a meal being prepared distractions and stimulation of your senses may help ease fatigue.
You can learn more in Cancer-related Fatigue.
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Speech And Hearing: Difficulty Speaking Meaningfully
Stuttering, forgetting words, and speaking in meaningless sentences are all signs of dysphasia and aphasia, which can be caused by tumors in the frontal, temporal, and parietal lobes.
A sudden loss of communication skills can indicate a brain tumor. You may slur, stutter, speak haltingly, grope for appropriate words, muddle words, forget names of common objects, and be unable to string a meaningful sentence together. Sometimes, you may speak fluently but your speech may be filled with non-words. You may be able to write but not read out what youve written. These symptoms can also indicate a stroke or a migraine attack. All three are serious medical conditions and need attention.
How does a tumor affect your language? Your brain has two main speech centers and a tumor in any of these lobes can make conversations difficult.
- Wernickes area near the temporal lobe that helps you understand language and decipher others speech
- Brocas area near the frontal lobe that helps in speech production so that you speak meaningfully and fluently
This difficulty in using and understanding language is known as dysphasia or aphasia.8
You may also have difficulty repeating after others if the tumor is in your parietal lobe and is affecting the inferior parietal lobule, another area associated in speech production and speech repetition. However, if you cannot understand someone elses words, and it may also have to do with hearing loss associated with brain stem tumors.
Other Primary Brain Tumors
Other primary brain tumors include:
- pituitary tumors, which are usually benign
- pineal gland tumors, which can be benign or malignant
- ependymomas, which are usually benign
- craniopharyngiomas, which occur mostly in children and are benign but can have clinical symptoms like changes in vision and premature puberty
- primary central nervous system lymphomas, which are malignant
- primary germ cell tumors of the brain, which can be benign or malignant
- meningiomas, which originate in the meninges
- schwannomas, which originate in cells that produce the protective cover of your nerves called Schwann cells
Most meningiomas and schwannomas occur in people between the ages of 40 and 70. Meningiomas are more common in women than men. Schwannomas occur equally in both men and women. These tumors are usually benign, but they can cause complications because of their size and location. Cancerous meningiomas and schwannomas are rare but can be very aggressive.
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Brain Tumors In Children
Brain tumors are the most common solid tumor in children and adolescents, affecting about 5,000 children in the U.S. each year. Several different types of brain tumors can occur in children, including astrocytomas , gliomas, ependymomas and medulloblastomas.
Peripheral Neuropathy & Neurological Symptoms:
Brain tumor and CNS cancer can cause significant neurological morbidity. Both the central nervous system and the peripheral nervous system are susceptible to the effects of the disease. The cancers can metastasize to the spine and in many cases can cause spinal cord compression or cord transection due to the involvement of the vertebra in cancer. It can also affect coagulation or cause hyper-coagulability and cause cerebrovascular issues. Some of the neurological symptoms include jerky or uncontrolled movements, tingling sensation on one side of the body and muscle weakness in face or arm. In cases where the spinal cord or nerve root is involved, patients may also experience issues with bladder control and bowel movements. Tumors may result in sensory loss or changes in deep tendon reflexes. Extra-ocular nerve involvement can also cause facial sensory deficits.
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What Causes Brain Tumours
Very often, the answer is that we just don’t know what will have caused your brain tumour. This can be one of the most difficult things to accept and can leave you feeling helpless and frustrated.
While it is thought that 3% of brain tumours in the UK are preventable, generally there is nothing you could have done, or not done, that would have prevented you from getting a brain tumour.
When To Seek Care
If you think you might have a brain tumor, keep a diary of whats going on. Be sure to include your symptoms, how often they happen and when. Its very likely that you dont have a brain tumor, but any worrisome neurological symptoms should always be checked out, says Dr. Danish.
Regardless of the rarity of brain tumors, it is important to recognize the symptoms and see a doctor if you think anythings off. Signs of a tumor vary, depending on the tumors location and size, and the early symptoms can be obscure, Dr. Danish says. But the quicker we find a tumor and start treatment, the better your outcome will be, so wed always rather you come in if you think you may have a tumor, rather than brush it off.
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Primary Or Secondary Brain Tumor
Though we have all heard the diagnosis at some point, we may not fully understand what this means for our furry friends. To ensure that you fully understand your dogs diagnosis, lets take a look at the details.
When discussing brain tumors in dogs, you will likely hear the terms primary and secondary. A primary brain tumor in dogs is a tumor that originates from the tissue of the brain directly, while a secondary brain tumor is one that is a result of metastasis from other parts of the body. While every brain tumor is just an abnormal growth of cells, they can each vary in terms of their original cause.
Stress Contributes To Brain Inflammation And Depression
A little-known fact: the brain has its own immune system.
Special immune cells called microglia protect the brain and spinal cord from infections and toxins.
Unfortunately, a microglial cell has no on or off switch, so once it is activated, it creates inflammation for the rest of its lifespan.
Chronic stress is one of the factors that increases the risk of activating your microglia, thus producing brain inflammation.
Its generally believed that depression is caused by serotonin deficiency, but theres a growing body of evidence that brain inflammation may be the root cause of depression instead.
This theory is called the cytokine model of depression.
Activated microglia produce cytokines proteins that turn on the inflammation response in the brain.
Cytokine production is linked to depression, including major depressive disorder and increased thoughts of suicide.
Its also associated with anxiety, memory loss, and the inability to concentrate, as well as some serious mental disorders such as schizophrenia, Parkinsons, and Alzheimers.
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Stress Hormones Trigger Inflammation Linked To Cancer
When youre experiencing acute or chronic stress, the body is flooded with whats known as the stress-response hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol, which can suppress the immune systems response to mutated cells.
The trouble occurs when youre under chronic stress that is, prolonged, unremitting or when you experience acute stress several times a day over a period of time. Your body is then constantly being flooded with these stress hormones.
Some research seems to buttress the stress-inflammation-cancer connection. A Canadian study published in November 2017 in the journal Frontiers in Oncology, for example, included work history interviews with nearly 2,000 men, age 75 or younger, who were newly diagnosed with prostate cancer, and approximately the same number of matched controls. They found that those men who reported having had at least one stressful job over the course of their lifetime were more likely to develop prostate cancer before age 65. The average age of diagnosis is about 66, according to The American Cancer Society.
Theres another way in which the stress hormones might promote cancer: Norepinephrine may bind with beta receptors that live on the surface of some tumor cells, causing them to proliferate. Norepinephrine can fuel a tumors ability to form new blood vessels, Cohen says. New data shows that stress hormones might also increase nerve growth and density at the tumor site, which are associated with worse outcomes in people.