Brain cancers appear in about 5-15 cases on a sample of 100 000 people. Basic division of tumors is done on primary and secondary. Primary tumors are those tumors which have been created from the brain tissue within the skull, where the secondary ones are caused by metastases, where malicious cells travel via blood into the skull or brain. Most common tumors sending metastases into the brain are tumors of breasts and bronchi’s. Primary tumors are divided into benign and malicious. With benign tumors there is a problem of their growth and position because they put pressure on the surrounding tissues. The second problem is their location. If the benign tumor is located deep in the skull or is in close contact with structures vital for living, then there is a serious obstacle for proper treatment.
Diagnosis and Symptoms
Most commonly used diagnostic methods for determining a proper method for brain cancer treatment are magnetic resonance and angiograph. There is a new method of angiography developed which is completely non-invasive. In case of brain tumors specifically, tomography is also another common computerized method used for diagnosis.
Because of the space in which these tumors appear, they are very specific. An average volume of the brain is about 1500-1600 milliliters. Tumors tend to cause disorders with this volume’s space organization which can then give false localization photos during diagnosis. Incarceration occurs both with malicious and benign tumors, where they both increase the volume. Brain edema is one of the consequences coming from this expansive process, where we differ cytotoxic and cacogenic edema. These symptoms are usually not visible immediately. Treatment today begins very early due to highly efficient diagnostic methods, so specific signs usually don’t even develop.
Treatment of the tumor heavily depends on its position and type. When it is possible, it’s best to remove the entire tumor surgically. Many of these tumors can be removed with minor or no damage done to the brain. Still, some tumors tend to grow deep inside the skull, which makes it difficult or impossible to reach surgically. Surgery can sometimes lead to damage of the brain which can cause partial paralysis, changes in cognitive experiences and intellectual issues. However, removing the tumor is important in case it endangers some of the surrounding vital structures. Even if surgery isn’t able to always treat the condition, it is possible to reduce the tumor’s size, prolonging the life span of the patient.
Most brain tumors, especially malicious ones, are treated with multiple methods – a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy needs to be planned in advance for best results. Radiation will rarely heal your brain, but it is a process able to reduce the tumor down to operable size. It might even be kept under control without it ever growing for many years to come. Chemotherapy needs to be approached with extreme care and without biopsy of the tumor body it’s not possible to determine the best parameters for it.