Brain tumor is a life-threatening condition that occurs due to accumulation of abnormal tissues and cells in an individual’s brain. This health condition needs prompt medical care. Otherwise, it may result in serious complications over a period of time. However, patients may find it difficult to recognize this disease as it does not lead to noticeable changes in early stage. Symptoms become more prominent as the tumor in brain advances. It may adversely affect nervous system and degrade working efficiency of patients. Therefore, patients should indulge in health-checkups to maintain a sound medical status.
Causes and Risk Factors of Brain Tumors
Medical practitioners have not found any specific evidence which can prove the cause of occurrence of brain tumor. However, it has been observed that genetic abnormality may lead to mutations in cells present in brain which can eventually give rise to a brain tumor. The following list describes some major risk factors associated with brain tumors.
- Age Factor – In majority of cases, brain tumors occur in older people. However, it does not mean that it do not affect young people or children. It can happen to anyone at any given point.
- Family History of Disease – Family history of brain tumor is the biggest risk factor that may fuel up possibility of development of such health condition. People who have a close relative or family member who has had this disease should meet a well-experienced doctor.
- Overexposure to Radiation – Overexposure to harmful radiation such as radiation used for cancer treatment significantly increases the chances of brain tumor.
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Tumors
Patients experiencing the below-mentioned signs and symptoms should visit a doctor at the earliest for a precise diagnosis. Such symptoms are most likely to occur due to an underlying brain tumor.
- Frequent Headaches – Patients who encounter frequently occurring headaches and do not get relief despite taking medications should consult an experienced neurologist.
- Unexplained Vomiting Sensation – Patients with an underlying tumor in brain may experience vomiting sensation after having regular meals. They should not delay and meet a doctor for addressing this issue.
- Eyesight Changes – This is the most common symptom associated with a brain tumor. Patients may notice significant eyesight problems such as blurred vision or double vision due to growth of tumor in brain.
- Balancing Difficulties – Patients may have to face balancing problems as abnormal cells in brain begin to multiply. In such cases, a good medical treatment is necessary.
- Behavioral and Memory Changes – Brain tumor can considerably impact behavior of patients. They may tend to forget names of closed ones or places easily. They may feel confused all the time. Such symptoms clearly indicate a brain tumor.
- Seizures – Brain tumor may lead to seizures. Seizures refer to jerks or sudden uncontrollable body movements. Therefore, patients should take a medical opinion if they experience seizures.
- Hearing problems – Patients may have to face hearing problems. Sometimes, brain tumors may result in partial hearing loss.
Types of Brain Tumors
Brain tumors are mainly classified into following two groups.
- Primary Brain Tumors – Tumors that emerge from brain itself are known as primary brain tumors. Such tumors are mostly non-cancerous in nature. However, there lies a possibility of them being malignant. Astrocytomas, meningiomas, oligodendrogliomas, and craniopharyngiomas (pituitary tumors) are the major types of primary brain tumors.
- Secondary Brain Tumors – These tumors originate in some other body parts and spread to brain. Such tumors are mostly cancerous and extremely harmful in nature. Cancers such as breast cancer, colon cancer, or lung cancer may spread and result in cancerous brain tumor.
Cancerous brain tumors are referred to as malignant brain tumors. Whereas non-cancerous brain tumors are called as benign brain tumors.
Diagnosing Brain Tumors
Respective neurologists may begin diagnosis procedure by asking about symptoms that are bothering the patients. After primary analysis, neurologists may order the following diagnostic tests to check any abnormality in patient’s brain.
- Neurological Evaluation – During a neurological examination, surgeons check patient’s vision, balancing ability, and hearing sense. Once this evaluation gets completed, surgeons carefully check the results. If they figure out any abnormality, then patients may have to undergo some additional tests.
- Imaging Tests – In most instances, patients are advised to undergo a computerized scan (CT scan) or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI scan). Patients do not need to worry as both these procedures are painless and similar in nature. An MRI involves magnetic field and radio waves to create internal pictures of brain and nearby tissues and a CT scan involve x-rays to meet the requirement.
- Biopsy – Respective neurosurgeons may create a hole in patient’s skull and take out a sample of tissues from their brain. Entire procedure is guided by any appropriate imaging technique. The tissues derived from brain are inspected precisely in a laboratory.
All these diagnostic methods help surgeons to make an accurate analysis and decide a befitting treatment plan for patients.
Treatment Options for Brain Tumors
Brain surgery, radiation therapy, chemo drugs, targeted drugs, and hormone therapy are the major treatment options for both primary as well as secondary brain tumors. These treatments are explained as follows.
- Surgical Approach – Brain tumors can be treated effectively with the help of following surgeries.
- Craniotomy Surgery – Craniotomy is a medical procedure that involves removal of a part of patient’s skull for accessing the underlying brain tumor. Respective neurologists use general anesthesia to put the patients to sleeping mode until the procedure gets completed. Surgeons remove trouble causing tumor and replace the portion of skull which was initially removed and close incisions carefully.
- Transsphenoidal Surgery – It is a minimally invasive treatment procedure which is performed to treat and remove pituitary adenomas. It can be performed by using either an endoscope or microscope. Endoscopic approach involves use of a device known as an ‘endoscope’. This device is long and thin and bears a camera on one end which helps doctors to have a clear view of tumor on a screen while performing operation. Microscopic approach mostly involves making an incision under the lips of patients to perform operation.
- Radiation Therapy – This treatment procedure can be accomplished with help of high-intensity beams of radiation which can kill abnormal tumor cells and tissues in brain. Gamma Knife and CyberKnife are the advanced types of radiation therapies. These procedures are similar to traditional radiation therapy procedure. Only difference is that these methods involve targeting beams of radiation from various angles to destroy the tumor.
- Chemotherapy – This procedure involves the use of specialized medicines and drugs which are powerful enough to stop the growth of tumor and wipe out unwanted cells entirely from patient’s brain.
- Targeted Drug Therapy – Targeted drug therapy involves use of drugs which only concentrate on killing abnormal cells. These drugs are designed in such a way that they do not affect healthy cells and tissues nearby tumor.
- Hormone Therapy – Hormone therapy can control the activity of affected pituitary gland. Surgeons provide certain medicines which lower down the overproduction of hormones that feed the undesired tumor.
Risks and Complications Associated with Brain Tumor Surgery
The following list conveys general risks and complications associated with brain tumor surgery.
- Bleeding – Patients may have to face the problem of bleeding in brain. Such condition needs an immediate medical attention.
- Swelling – In some cases, there may develop a swelling around operated brain of patients.
- Clotting of Blood – This complication can be easily handled by using medicines that can help thin the blood of patients.
- Infection – Patients may experience a serious infection at surgical site. Doctors will most likely provide antibiotics to avoid occurrence of this complication.
- Functional Disability – Patients may lose their hearing ability, encounter vision problems, and seizures following their brain tumor surgery. There are chances that patients may go into a state of coma by losing their consciousness. It may lead to death if not treated on time.
Patients should discuss such potential complications with respective neurosurgeons and ask measures which can reduce them prior undergoing any type of surgery for brain tumor.
Recovery Following Brain Tumor Surgery
Recovery mainly relies on type of brain tumor surgery, patient’s overall health, and their dedication towards a healthy lifestyle. Patients need to consume prescribed dosage of medicines at an appropriate time. Also, they should not forget to follow a balanced nutritious diet containing vegetables and fruits. They should visit respective surgeons for follow-up sessions. It will help minimize the chances of recurrence of brain tumor in future to a great extent. Last but not least, patients should stay positive and maintain a strong willpower to speed up their healing.
Key Advantages of Availing Brain Tumor Surgery in India with Travcure
Travcure Medical Tourism is one of the most acknowledged healthcare tourism facilitators across the world due to their excellent medical provisions. Team Travcure is associated with experienced neurologists and oncologists in India who have great expertise in performing brain tumor surgery. Brain tumor surgery cost in western nations is quite high. Travcure makes every effort to meet healthcare needs of overseas patients. They offer similar treatment at just a fraction of the total money charged by other developed countries. They also arrange a free online consultation for global patients struggling with brain tumors before they visit India. In addition to this, they also stay in touch with patients even in post-surgery period to ensure their good health status. They leave no stone unturned to bring a positive change in patient’s life. Therefore, international patients looking for quality as well as cost-effective brain tumor surgery in India can rely on Travcure Medical Tourism.
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