Tuesday August 21, 2012
A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cells that are in the brain. Despite its terrifying name, not all brain tumors are cancerous or fatal. KEYWORDS
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Oncology What is a brain tumor?
A brain tumor is a lump of abnormal tissue that is found all over the brain. The brain and spinal cord form the central nervous system, which controls everything a person does by purpose (like walking and talking) or automatically (like breathing and digestion of food). This system also controls human senses, emotions, thoughts, memory and personality, it determines who they are.
Brain tumors are divided into two types: first, by how they look during imaging tests, to create images of the brain, and by how the tissue appears under a microscope, and second, depending on whether they started in the brain or spread by one other part of the body.
Benign brain tumors have clearly defined edges and contain cells that look healthy, just like normal cells. They tend to grow slowly, are not likely to spread, and rarely grow again when removed. The word "benign" means harmless, although these can cause tumors if they start to interfere with normal brain function. Benign brain tumors are not malignant.
Malignant brain tumors are also called brain tumors. They can have irregular borders and they are made up of unusually shaped cells. They tend to spread quickly by sprouting new ones "root" into the surrounding brain tissue, almost like a plant in the ground. While it can also spread to the spinal cord, it usually has not spread to other parts of the body. In some cases, a tumor can contain a combination of almost normal and extremely abnormal cells.
Primary brain tumors originate in the tissues of the brain and can be either benign or malignant.
Secondary brain tumors actually paired up with cancer cells that have attached to the brain from another part of the body. For example, cells from tumors of the lungs, breast, or anywhere else can spread to the brain and cause new tumors to grow. Secondary brain tumors are always malignant.
In addition, brain tumors are classified by the type of brain cell that has become a tumor with medical names such as astrocytoma (as-tro-sy-TO-ma), glioma (glee-O-ma), ependymoma (E-pen -di-MO -ma), germinoma (jer-mi-NO-ma), medulloblastoma (med-yoo-lo-blas-TO-ma), meningioma (me-nin-jee-O-ma) and neuroblastoma (noor-o-blas -TO-ma). Your common ending "-granny" means "tumor", and the beginning shows the part of the brain where the tumor forms. For example, as gliomas, the most common type of brain tumor, form in the brain’s supporting tissue, the glial cells. The second most common type, meningioma, forms in the meninges, the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. Why do people develop brain tumors?
Doctors cannot explain why some children and adults develop brain tumors. If it happens, it is not their fault, nor could they have done anything to prevent it. Even though a tumor can spread in the brain, it cannot spread from one person to another, in other words, brain tumors are not contagious.
Researchers have found that some brain tumors are more commonly exposed to people who are often used on certain industrial chemicals to make rubber, pharmaceuticals, crude oil and petroleum products, fissures and broods and weapons, as well as agricultural chemicals used in farms. They are also investigating whether certain viruses can contribute to brain tumor development.
Inheritance is another possible cause under investigation. Because brain tumors sometimes occur in multiple members of the same family, researchers are investigating whether the tendency to develop them can be inherited. What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?
As the tumor grows, it puts pressure on the brain, often causing headache, drowsiness, blurred or double vision, or nausea and vomiting. Of course, most of the time these symptoms are not caused by brain tumors. Because different parts of the brain control certain functions in the body, a tumor’s symptoms often depend on its position in the brain. Symptoms can include:
Seizures or sudden movements or changes in consciousness over the person has no control.
Weakness or loss of feeling in the arms or legs.
Stumble or lack of coordination when walking.
Abnormal eye movements or changes in vision.
Changes in personality or memory.
How Doctors Diagnose Brain Tumors?
In addition to asking symptoms, the doctor performs a neurological exam that tests various vision and eye movements, hearing, reflexes, balance, and coordination, memory, Includes thinking skills and other functions controlled by the brain. 50 years ago: Johnny Gunther
Brain tumors affect people of all ages. In children and young adults who have tumors, it is one of the most common types diagnosed. Nevertheless, brain tumors in children are relatively rare: The American Brain Tumor Association estimates that only about 4 in 100,000 children under the age of 20 will develop a brain tumor.
Back in 1946, such a child was Johnny Gunther, whose father wrote the widely read book Death Be Not Proud about Johnny’s experience. At the age of 16, Johnny started experiencing some visual disturbances and a stiff neck. After a series of tests, he was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a rapidly growing tumor that tends to spread quickly in the brain.
The book describes the diagnostic tests that Johnny underwent and his treatments, including surgery and radiation therapy, were called x-ray therapy at the time. Johnny’s father also tells how the family with the illness and the eventual realization that Johnny can not cope better. Johnny died in 1947 at the age of 17.
Johnny tumor is not typical of all brain tumors. Some grow much more slowly and do not penetrate the surrounding tissue. Gunther notes that his son’s tumor looked like a spider stretched out his legs, another type could look more "to put a marble in jelly."
Treatments for all types of brain tumors have been advancing since 1946, making it easier for doctors to remove them and control their growth. Johnny doctors had to rely on x-rays, vision tests and a brain wave test called an electroencephalogram to locate his tumor. Now, doctors are using CTs, MRIs, and other new computer technologies for visual "cards" of the brain to create and locate a tumor’s exact location before and during surgery.
The doctor is also likely to order imaging tests such as computed tomography (CT) scan (a special X-ray that uses a computer to take pictures of the brain) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans that take an image of the brain by using a very strong magnetic field instead of X-rays. Another possible type of test called angiogram imaging,
Doctors often use MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) as part of the diagnostic process. Here a brain tumor shows up as a roundish spot that distinguishes it from the healthy brain tissue nearby. Visuals Unlimited. Dye involves injecting into a blood vessel and creating a sequence of images as the dye moves through the brain. This helps doctors to visualize what the tumor and blood vessels are. Dr. Harvey Cushing
Surgeons performed the first successful move of brain tumors in the 1880s. However, follow-up care was difficult and many patients died afterwards.
In the early years of the 20th century, pioneer Dr. Harvey Cushing (1869-1939) the specialty of neurosurgery in the United States. Dr. Cushing made sure that all types of tumors before surgery were classified based on an analysis of the tumor’s pattern of growth and on the observation of tissue samples. His work also revolutionized post-operative care, which reduced mortality in cancer patients. Dr. Cushing services are reflected in today’s surgical techniques, clinical expertise, and laboratory research.
Once a tumor is found, doctors often need to gather more information to find out what it is. In some cases, the doctor takes a sample of the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal cord, and then sends the fluid to be examined under a microscope. More often, surgeons will remove some or all of the tumor in a process called a biopsy, and then send the tissue to the laboratory for analysis. To get to the tumor, open part of the skull (a procedure called craniotomy), or you can drill a small hole in the skull and take a tissue sample with a needle. Both before and sometimes during surgery, surgeons use computerized images of the brain to help them locate the tumor and avoid the proximity of healthy tissues that are important to normal functioning. How Doctors Treat Brain Tumors?
Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are the three most common treatments for a brain tumor. But the type of tumor, its location, and the age of the person often determine how these treatments are used. Before the process begins, most patients are given medication to relieve swelling in the brain and the cramps that often occur with brain tumors. surgery
During the operation, surgeons try to remove the entire tumor. However, if the tumor cannot be removed completely without damaging vital brain tissue, then it will remove as much as it can. Surgery is usually the only treatment needed for a benign tumor. radiotherapy
Radiation therapy (also called radiotherapy) is the use of high-power radiation to destroy cancer cells or stop their growth. It is often used to destroy tumor tissue that cannot be removed with surgery or to kill cancer cells that can remain after surgery. Radiotherapy is also used when surgery is not possible. External radiation comes from a large machine, while the internal radiation involves implanting radioactive material directly into the tumor. Although the radiation is aimed at the tumor, part of the surrounding healthy tissue is often damaged as well. Therefore, avoid giving radiation to very young children, especially those under 3 years of age because their brains are still developing. These children are often treated with chemotherapy until they are old enough to have radiation therapy. Stereotactic surgery
Stereotactic surgery uses a frame attached externally to the skull. The frame allows the surgeon to attach surgical instruments and position them accurately.
Before the operation, tumor locations were identified using computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The surgeon drills a small hole in the skull and with the CT or MRI data, inserts the instruments and navigates to an exact point in the brain. The surgeon can then remove a tumor or other procedure.
Doctors often use stereotactic surgery to guide biopsy needles and tweezers to guide electrodes for recording or marking lesions, to guide lasers, to look at endoscopes to insert inside the body, and to use gamma knife procedures that use radiation to do surgery , chemotherapy
In chemotherapy, doctors give anti-cancer drugs by mouth or by injection into a blood vessel or muscle. Because the body automatically tends to remove chemicals and other foreign matter from entering the brain and spinal cord (a type of "self-defense"-Mechanism), doctors may need to inject them directly into the spinal fluid.
Numerous other treatments for brain tumors are being studied in studies called clinical trials. For example, researchers are testing biological therapies based on "Supercharge" the body’s disease fighting immune system to try against the tumor. They are also testing drugs that prevent tumors from creating new blood vessels that they would need to grow. In the United States, the National Cancer Institute has groups of physicians nationwide who are working together to find new therapies for brain tumors in children and adults. Life after a brain tumor
Sometimes the tumor or treatment of some nearby healthy brain tissue that controls physical and mental function harms. Patients need to work with a special therapist if they have difficulty with their arms or legs, maintaining balance, speaking, swallowing, or their thoughts. They feel tired or depressed and they can experience personality changes. Children may find that they have problems learning or remember what they learn when they go to school.
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