What is Glioma?
Glioma is a tumor that grows in the glial cells of the spinal cord or the brain. Glial cells are sticky supportive cells that enclose the nerve cells and help them to function normally.
What the types of Glioma?
Glioma is basically categorized into three different types according to the type of glial cell the tumor develops in.
These are the three types of glioma:
- Astrocytomas – These include anaplastic astrocytoma, astrocytoma and glioblastoma.
- Ependymomas – These include myxopapillary ependymoma, anaplastic ependymoma and sub-ependymoma.
- Oligodendrogliomas – These include anaplastic Oligodendroglioma, Oligodendroglioma and anaplastic oligoastrocytoma.
Depending on its location and rate of growth, a glioma can affect brain functions which might result in life-threatening complications to arise.
The determination of the type of glioma helps the doctor to decide the best-suited treatment for the patient.
What are the causes of Glioma?
Similar to most primary brain cancers, the cause of glioma is yet unknown. However there are several risk factors that have been identified as increasing the risk of glioma.
These are the various risk factors likely to result in the development of glioma in a person:
- Age – Advancing age is a large risk factor for glioma. People are more likely to develop glioma between the ages of 60 and 80 years. There are a few types of glioma which are seen specifically in young adults and children.
- Radiation exposure – People exposed to ionizing radiation are more prone to develop glioma (brain tumor). Radiotherapy and exposure to radiation from atomic bombs are the common radiation source.
- Heredity – Although it is rare, glioma is also seen to run in some families. This doubles the risk of the person to develop a glioma in their lifetime.
What are the signs and symptoms of Glioma?
There are various symptoms that are seen in a person with glioma. The exact symptoms depend on various factors such as the size, locations and the rate of progress (growth) of the tumor.
These are the commonly seen signs and symptoms of glioma:
- Confusion/memory loss
- Declining brain functions
- Behavioral changes
- Difficulty in balancing while standing or walking
- Inconstant urination
- Vision problems (blurred/double vision/ loss of peripheral vision)
- Speech difficulties
How is Glioma diagnosed?
In case the doctor suspects the development of a glioma, a neurologist will likely be consulted to diagnose and determine the details of the glioma, if present.
These are some of the more common diagnostic tests that are performed to detect glioma:
- Neurological examination – This involves checking the patient’s vision, hearing, balance, strength, reflexes and coordination. Difficulty in one or more of these areas may be due to glioma.
- Imaging tests – These may include MRI scans, which help to diagnose a brain tumor effectively and efficiently. The neurologist may also suggest CT scans or PET tests for detailed diagnosis.
- Biopsy – This involves removing a small portion of the glioma for detailed pathological analysis, which helps to determine the best form of treatment for it.
How is Glioma treated?
There are several treatment methods available for Glioma, however the exact treatment method depends on various factors, mainly the type, size, stage and location of the brain tumor, along with the patient’s age, overall health status and choice of treatment.
Treatment for glioma primarily aims to remove the brain tumor (glioma) entirely, or as much as possible, while additional treatment is likely to be required for the various complications that may arise due to it.
These are the common treatment methods for glioma:
The first step in treatment of glioma is mostly the surgical treatment method. In cases where the glioma (brain tumor) is small and located in a clear area the surgical method is ideal to remove it completely with efficiency and no damage to the surrounding healthy tissues of the brain.
In case the glioma (brain tumor) is located in such a position that it is crowded within vital tissues or in a hard-to-access location, the neurosurgeon will attempt to remove as much of the tumor as safely possible using surgical methods.
In more complicated cases the neurosurgeon may analyze tissue samples during the surgery to find the best way to treat it.
The advances in medical and surgical science have resulted in various new and more efficient surgical techniques to be used, such as computer-assisted brain surgery, awake brain surgery and intra-operative MRI. These advanced and ultra-modern surgical techniques have made this intricate and delicate brain surgery a more convenient and efficiently safer process using higher precision and control.
Radiation therapy is usually used after a surgical treatment for glioma has been performed. This is especially required for glioma in their advanced stages.
This therapy uses high-energy beam of radiations (of x-ray or protons) which can be precisely focused on the tumor. The heat generated by this radiation beam causes the tumor (cancerous) cells to get destroyed.
Radiation therapy is administered using an external radiation device. The advances in medical science have resulted in new and more effective radiotherapy techniques to be invented. Nowadays, increasing number of glioma radiation therapy is being done by the ultra-modern methods, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy, proton beam therapy and stereotactic radiation therapy.
This glioma treatment method uses certain specially-designed medicinal drugs to detect and kill cancerous (tumor) cells. These medications can be administered orally or intravenously. This therapy is usually combined with radiation therapy for treatment of glioma.
Why choose Travcure for Glioma Treatment in India?
India is home to the largest and most comprehensive network of world-class healthcare facilities spread across all its major cities, including Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai, etc. These are ultra-modern healthcare facilities that are equipped with the latest and most modern medical and surgical technology. Travcure is well-connected to this huge network. Travcure offers every patient with a truly bespoke treatment package that allows for the most effective and most affordable glioma treatment in India.