Cancer of the brain - a common name, which unites the whole group of malignant tumors derived from a variety of brain tissue. Typically, the tumor is called in cell composition, eg neuroma - a tumor of the cranial nerves, meningiomas - cell tumors of the meninges, pituitary adenoma - a tumor of the cells of the glandular tissue, etc. Among other malignant diseases of brain cancer is rare, according to statistics it is 5-6% of all malignant tumors. Rarely is the primary, i.e. which developed it in the brain is more common secondary brain cancer that is metastasized occurring from a tumor formed in the other body.
Causes of brain cancer
The reasons for which a person develops brain cancer still not fully understood, as in the case of many other cancers. In some cases, it plays the role of trauma preceding the skull, sometimes signs of brain cancer first appear after infectious diseases. There is evidence on the impact of genetic susceptibility, ionizing radiation, a high level of environmental pollution, dietary intake of large amounts of carcinogens. But these factors can be attributed only to contributing as a direct link between them and brain cancer is not established.
Symptoms of brain cancer
Symptoms of brain cancer may be different depending on in what part of the brain tumor is located, and what structure it compresses. Most often the first sign of dizziness, there are attacks and persistent headache, although sometimes it is attached only in an advanced stage of brain cancer. Headache occurs mainly in the morning, usually increases at a certain position of the head, a patient often receives a forced position, in which headache less. If wounded visual area of the brain is disturbed vision, if affected by the structure of the cerebellum, suffering coordination and gait, speech becomes slurred, greased; If the auditory nerve, the observed tinnitus and hearing loss, and so on.
With the growth of the tumor join symptoms of increased intracranial pressure, appear nausea, vomiting. Vomiting in this case yields only short-term relief. There have been problems with memory, attention, ability to concentrate and focus, may appear more severe mental disorder, such as hallucinations. Sometimes it disturbed sensitivity in various areas of the body. There may be epileptic seizures by type. Manifestations also depend on the stage of cancer of the brain, with extensive tumors, causing severe compression and intoxication, the symptoms of brain cancer will be more pronounced.
In general, brain cancer symptoms are not specific, i.e. unique to this disease, but a combination of several of them should serve as an occasion to make an appointment to see a doctor.
Diagnosis of brain cancer
The most informative method of diagnosis of cancer of the brain is a brain MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT (computed tomography). These methods allow to visualize the tumor - to determine its exact size, location and extent of involvement of surrounding structures in the tumor process. Guess the cellular composition of the tumor experienced doctor can have symptoms of brain cancer and its localization, but in order to make an accurate diagnosis, a biopsy is needed - laboratory examination of the tumor tissue. For obvious reasons, to take brain tissue for research may have just during surgery to remove the tumor, so the final specification of the diagnosis in the diagnosis of brain cancer can be delivered only after surgery.
Treatment of brain cancer
Treatment of cancer is based on three pillars cancer: surgical removal of the tumor, chemotherapy and radiation. Treatment of brain cancer characterized by the fact that here the chemotherapy is ineffective, because the existing brain barrier that impedes the penetration of drugs into brain tissue. Although now already established drugs for cancer chemotherapy brain to overcome barriers, though chemotherapy is an auxiliary, or as they say oncologists adjuvant treatment for brain cancer in this case.
The main method of treatment of brain cancer - surgical removal. Unfortunately, not all brain tumors can not remove completely. In some cases, the tumor is located among the vital structures and germinate them so much that complete, total resection without damaging the substance of the brain can not. In this case, doing so-called subtotal resection, and the remaining portions of the tumor after surgery destroys by irradiation and chemotherapy.
Recently, in the treatment of brain cancer is widely and successfully used technology such as CyberKnife and Gamma Knife, which are precisely targeting a tumor with high doses of radiation, causing its disintegration. Such techniques are so effective that in the case of small tumors may be used as the primary method of treating, eliminating the need for surgical intervention.
Cancer of the brain - the forecast
Prognosis depends on how much time had begun treatment of brain cancer. Further, for the prediction of cancer brain matter and tumor cell composition, and the degree of maturity of tumor cells, and growth trends. As with other cancers, cancer of the brain can be successfully treated if to catch the early stage of the process. A more favorable prognosis have primary tumors. Because brain cancer refers to tumors with a high tendency to relapse, doctors say caution about treatment, replacing the word the term "remission" and recommending patients who achieved sustained remission, undergo regular preventive care.