A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of cells within the brain, which can be cancerous or non-cancerous (benign). It is defined as any intracranial tumor created by abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, normally either in the brain itself (neurons, glial cells (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells), lymphatic blood vessels), in the cranial nerves (myelin-producing Schwann cells), in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary and pineal gland, or spread from cancers primarily located in other organs (metastatic tumors).Brain tumours can have a wide variety of symptoms including seizures, sleepiness, confusion, and behavioral changes. Not all brain tumors are cancerous, and benign tumors can result in similar symptoms.
Types of Brain Tumour
Brain tumors are classified as grade I, grade II, or grade III, or grade IV. There most common type of primary brain tumors among adults are astrocytoma, meningioma, and oligodendroglioma. The most common type of primary brain tumors in children are medulloblastoma, grade I or II astrocytoma, ependymoma, and brain stem glioma.
Benign Brain Tumour: are low grade (grade 1 or 2), which means they grow slowly and are less likely to return after treatment.
Malignant Brain Tumour: are high grade (grade 3 or 4) and either start in the brain (primary tumours) or spread into the brain from elsewhere (secondary tumours); they're more likely to grow back after treatment.
Symptoms and Diagnosis of Brain Tumour
Different parts of the brain control different functions, so symptoms will vary depending on the tumourís location. The tumour's size and how fast it is growing also determine which symptoms a person will have.
In general, the most common symptoms of a brain tumour include persistent nausea vomiting and drowsiness, Severe persistent headache, mental or behavioural changes such as memory problems or changes in personality,Seizures or convulsions, Weakness or paralysis in one part or one side of the body, Vision changes, Confusion and disorientation.
Diagnosis of Brain Tumour
Most of the brain tumours are diagnosed on CT and MRI. To define the stage or complexity of brain tumour your Physician or Neurosurgeon may advise some further investigations.
Surgical treatments available in India for Brain Tumour
Surgery is the usual first treatment for most brain tumors. With advances in imaging, earlier diagnosis, sophisticated planning, preoperative, anaesthetic management, special microscopes and surgical instruments, it is possible to remove significant amounts of brain tumour through brain tumour surgery with relative safety.
For most benign tumours, treatment is often successful and a full recovery is possible, although there's sometimes a small chance the tumour could come back. Regular follow-up appointments will normally be recommended to monitor this.
The advent of PET CT, IGRT and Gamma knife surgery (stereotactic radio surgery) is revolutionizing the treatment of various problems in the brain, including benign brain tumours in treacherous locations, like the brain stem or near the optic nerve. Howsoever, all Brain tumours do not require operation and many are treatable with radiation or chemotherapy or Gamma Knife.
Dr Arun Saroha
Dr Arun Saroha is one of the best brain and spine surgeons in India. He has more than 15 years of experience of working at hospitals like Vimhans, Paras, Artemis and Max. He specializes in brain and spinal tumours, spinal instrumentation, decompression, fusion and fixation surgeries. He is presently associated with GNH Hospital and Max Hospital, Delhi and Gurgaon
Dr Vikas Kathuria
Dr Vikas Kathuria specialized in Neurosurgery from PGI Rohtak and has been doing all kinds of complex Brain Tumour and Spine Surgeries. He is Consultant Neurosurgeon at GNH Hospital Gurgaon and Max Hospital Gurgaon. He also specializes in all kinds of Head Injuries and management of critically injured patients.