Brain tumors can affect brain function if they grow large enough to put pressure on nerves, blood vessels, and surrounding tissue. Learn about the types of brain cancer and the latest treatment methods in Turkey
An overview of brain tumors
What is a brain tumor?
A brain tumor is an abnormal growth or mass of cells in or around the brain.
It is also called a central nervous system tumor.
Brain tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). Some tumors grow quickly, while others are slow.
Only about a third of brain tumors are cancerous.
But whether or not they're cancerous, brain tumors can impair brain function if they grow large enough to put pressure on nerves, blood vessels and surrounding tissue.
Tumors that develop in the brain are called primary tumours.
Tumors that spread to the brain after forming in a different part of the body are called secondary or metastatic tumors. This article focuses on primary tumors.
There are more than 100 types of primary brain and spinal cord tumors.
How common are brain tumors?
Doctors diagnose brain tumors in about 85,000 people in the United States each year.
Among these tumors, approximately 60,000 are benign, and about 25,000 are malignant.
Who are most at risk of developing brain cancer?
Brain tumors occur more often in men than in women.
Although it is more common in older adults, it can develop at any age.
Brain tumors are the leading cause of cancer-related death in children under 14 years of age.
What are the types of brain tumors?
Doctors classify brain and central nervous system tumors based on where they form and the type of cells they involve.
Benign brain tumors include:
- Acoustic neuroma: These tumors occur on the vestibular nerve (the nerve that connects the inner ear to the brain).
Acoustic neuromas are also called vestibular schwannomas.
- Ganglion cell tumor: Central nervous system tumors form in nerve cells (neurons).
- Meningioma: This is the most common type of primary brain tumor.
Meningiomas develop slowly.
They form in the meninges, which are the layers of tissue that protect the brain and spinal cord.
In rare cases, a meningioma can be malignant.
- Pineal tumor: These slow-growing tumors form in the pineal gland, which is located deep in the brain and secretes the hormone melatonin.
- Pituitary Tumor: These tumors form in the pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain.
The pituitary gland makes and controls the hormones in the body. Pituitary tumors are usually very small.
- Chordomas: These slow-growing tumors usually start at the base of the skull and the lower part of the spine
. They are mostly benign (not cancerous).
Cancerous brain tumors include:
- Glioma: These tumors develop in the glial cells that surround and help nerve cells.
Two-thirds of primary carcinoid brain tumors are gliomas.
Types of gliomas include:
- Astrocytoma: Astrocytomas are formed in glial cells called stellate cells.
- Glioblastomas: Aggressive, rapidly growing astrocytomas are glioblastomas.
- Oligodendroglioma: These uncommon tumors begin in the cells that make up myelin (the insulating layer around nerves in the brain).
- Medulloblastoma: Medulloblastomas are fast-growing tumors that form at the base of the skull.
These are the most common cancerous brain tumors in children.
Symptoms and causes of brain cancer
What causes a brain tumor?
Doctors are not sure what causes most brain tumors. Mutations (changes) or defects in genes may cause brain cells to grow uncontrollably, causing a tumor.
The only known environmental cause of brain tumors is exposure to large amounts of radiation from X-rays or previous cancer treatment. Some brain tumors occur when genetic diseases are passed between family members.
What are the symptoms of brain cancer?
Some people with a tumor in the brain or central nervous system have no symptoms
. In some cases, doctors discover a tumor during treatment for another problem.
When a brain tumor grows and presses on surrounding nerves or blood vessels, it may cause symptoms.
Brain tumor signs and symptoms vary, depending on where the tumor is, its type, size, and what the affected part of the brain controls.
It can include:
- Persistent or severe headache. Or that occur in the morning or disappear after vomiting.
- Change of behavior or personality.
- Difficulty with balance or coordination.
- trouble concentrating
- Nausea drowsiness.
- Numbness, weakness, or tingling in one part or side of the body or face.
- Hearing, vision or speech problems.
- unusual drowsiness;
- Trouble with memory, thinking, speaking or understanding language.
Diagnostics and tests
Brain cancer diagnosis methods?
Doctors use several tests to confirm the presence of a brain tumor. These tests include:
- Physical exam and medical history: Your doctor will do a general health exam, to look for signs of illnesses or diseases.
Your doctor will also ask questions about past and current health conditions, surgeries, medical treatments, and family history of disease.
- Blood test: To check for tumor markers (substances secreted by tumors in the blood) associated with certain types of tumors.
- Biopsy: Through a small hole in the skull, the doctor uses a needle to take a sample of tumor tissue. The lab studies the sample to determine the details of the tumor, including how quickly it's growing and whether it's spreading.
- Imaging testsA CT scan, MRI, CT scan and PET scan help doctors locate a tumor and determine whether it's cancerous or benign.
Your doctor may also look at other parts of the body, such as: lungs or colon or the breast, to determine where the tumor began.
- Neurological examination: During a neurological examination, your doctor will look for changes in your balance, coordination, mental state, hearing, vision and reflexes.
These changes can indicate which part of the brain may be affected by the tumor.
- Spinal tap: The doctor uses a small needle to remove fluid from around the spine.
The lab checks this fluid for cancer cells, which could indicate a malignancy somewhere in the central nervous system.
When brain tumors are precancerous, doctors classify the tumors into four grades (1 [least cancerous/slow-growing] to 4 [malignant/fast-growing]) as part of the diagnosis.
The grade assigned to a tumor indicates how quickly it has grown and the likelihood that it will spread.
By grading the tumor, your doctor can determine the most effective treatment options.
Management and treatment in Turkey
What are the methods of treating brain cancer in Turkey?
Brain cancer treatment depends on the location, size, and type of tumor. Doctors often use a combination of treatments to treat a tumor.
Treatment options may include:
- Surgery: When possible, surgeons remove the tumor. They work very carefully, sometimes evenFor surgery while you're awake, to reduce damage to the functional areas of the brain.
- Radiation therapy: high doses of X-rays destroy brain tumor cells or shrink the tumor (Gamma Knife).
Some people undergo radiation before surgery to shrink a brain tumor so that the surgeon can remove less tissue.
- ChemotherapyAnticancer drugs kill cancer cells in the brain and throughout the body.
You may receive chemotherapy through an injection into a vein or take it as a pill.
In some cases, doctors use chemotherapy before surgery to reduce the size of the tumor.
Your doctor may recommend chemotherapy after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells or to prevent remaining cancer cells from growing.
- ImmunotherapyImmunotherapy, also called biological therapy, is a type of treatment that uses the body's immune system to fight cancer.
Treatment mainly consists of stimulating the immune system to help it do its job more effectively.
- targeted therapy: Drugs target specific features in cancer cells without harming healthy cells.
Your doctor may recommend targeted therapy if you're having trouble tolerating the side effects of chemotherapy, such as fatigue and nausea.
- Laser thermal ablation: This treatment uses a laser to heat and destroy cancer cells.
- Watchful waiting/active monitoring: The doctor watches the tumor closely for signs of growth through regular tests, but does not take any further action.
What are the complications associated with a brain tumor?
Some people with a brain tumor — whether benign or malignant — develop complications as the tumor grows and presses on surrounding tissue. These complications include:
- decreased alertness;
- difficulty speaking
- Breathing and pulse rates are faster or slower.
- Numbness that interferes with the feeling of pressure, heat or cold on the body.
- Weakness or inability to move the leg or arm on one side of the body.
- Problems with vision, hearing and smell.
Brain tumor prevention
How can you prevent a brain tumor?
You cannot prevent a brain tumor. You can reduce your risk of developing a brain tumor by avoiding environmental risks such as smoking and excessive exposure to radiation.
Who is at risk of developing a brain tumor?
People most at risk of developing brain tumors are those who have:
- Family history of cancer.
- A genetic mutation that causes abnormal cell growth.
- Long-term exposure to radiation from X-rays or other types of cancer treatment.
- Exposure to certain chemicals (possible cause).
a future vision
What is the outlook for people with a brain tumor?
Outcomes for people with brain tumors vary widely. Factors that can affect the prognosis include the type, grade, and location of the tumor; Successful removal of all tumor. Your age and general health.
In many people, doctors can successfully treat a brain tumor. Other people live active, fulfilling lives with brain tumors that do not cause symptoms.
In some people, brain tumors can recur (come back) after treatment. These people may need to continue treatment, including chemotherapy or radiation, to prevent the tumor from growing or spreading. After brain tumor treatment, you should follow up with your doctor regularly.
When should I see a healthcare provider for a possible brain tumor?
Call your healthcare provider if you have signs and symptoms of a brain tumor.