- by Manipal Hospitals
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- Feb 09 2017
Brain Cancer : What you need to Know
Among all types of Cancers, the brain cancer is considered as the most dangerous; it’s normally difficult to identify at earlier stages and have a high mortality rate. As the primary symptoms of brain cancer can be confused with other diseases, diagnosing the brain cancer at initial stages could be difficult and challenging at the same time.
What is Brain Cancer?
The brain cancer constitutes abnormal cell growth in the local areas of the brain. The tumors that have a local place of origin are called primary brain tumors. The ‘metastatic brain tumor’ is initiated in the secondary part of the brain, and gets transmitted to the Cerebrum. Both types of cancer could be either benign or malignant (spreading). The tumor may consequently get large in size and press-on the adjacent areas of the brain, causing pain or bleeding at critical situations.
Symptoms of brain Cancer
As any ailment, the brain cancer needs to be identified based on its symptoms. As any other disease, finding the cancer source at initial stages is important for treating cancer.
These are the basic symptoms of brain cancer, which may require subjecting yourself to doctor’s diagnosis.
Headache: Headache due to brain tumor is caused because of the enlarging brain tissue pushing into the adjacent nerve cells and displacing the spinal fluid. Pain due to a brain tumor is often severe and gets bad with time. It’s also found to be aggravated in the morning.
Nausea and Vomiting: brain tumor can often result in the patient suffering from extreme Nausea and Vomiting. The patient can often suffer from entire blackouts and loss of partial memory.
Muscle jerking or twitching: If the tumor is near the control centers of the brain, the seizure can often result in body discomforts or Muscle jerking or twitching. It can even often lose partial control of the body, making the body temperature to be extremely volatile.
Tests to Determine Brain Cancer
The symptoms of brain cancer, could negatively affect the ability to function normally. Persistent symptoms require medical attention and the doctor may subject you to the following tests.
External Tests to Check Brain Tumor
Neurologic exam: As the brain directly affects your ability to function normally, the doctor can directly check your visual and hearing capabilities to confirm any problems. Any sudden lack of capabilities or weakness also indicates the presence of a new growth among the gray cells.
MRI Scan testing: The MRI scan machine consists of a large machine with multiple strong magnets that take magnetic picture of the brain at various angles. Apart from giving an accurate position of the tumor, the working of the MRI scan can also help derive an average size and shape of the tumor.
CT Scan Machine: – The CT scan is a sophisticated x-ray machine taking a series of pictures of your head. The better sophistication of the X-ray machine and distinguish brain parts through injecting a foreign ink, the CT scan will effectively determine any potential abnormality.
Internal Tests to Check Brain Tumor
At the spinal tap, sample of the cerebral fluid is removed and subjected to examination. Fluid removal is achieved through an accurate needle that accesses the lower part of the spinal column.
The biopsy involves removal of an actual brain tissue for examination. This is often taken as the final confirmation measure for brain cancer.
Note: This article serves as a basic pointer. Any discomfort that could be associated with brain cancer needs to be immediately notified to the concerned doctor.
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