Know the common symptoms of Brain Tumors
Our Brain is responsible to control all the body functions. It is the most complex organ made of billions of nerve cells, which connect and communicate through a vast and complex network of neurons throughout the body to coordinate several functions such as emotion, movement, sensation and various other aspects of physiology.
Each side of the brain contains 4 lobes- the frontal lobe, parietal, occipital and temporal lobe. Each lobe controls a specific function of the body such as cognition, speech, motor, etc. Like all cancers, malignant growth arising from any area is referred to as primary brain cancer. Cancers that metastasize to the brain from other organs are termed as secondary or metastatic brain cancer. It is often rare for brain tumors to spread to other parts of the body (excluding spine) due to the blood-brain barrier in the body.
There are over 120 types of brain and central nervous system (CNS) tumors. The most accepted WHO classification system is used for identifying tumors of the CNS (Brain & Spine). It is important to note that tumors may have different subtypes too. Overall, CNS cancers (Brain & Spine) contribute to less than 2% of all malignancies.
Although considered rare, brain tumors contribute significantly to morbidity depending on the location and extent of the tumor. The prognosis of each tumor depends on several factors such as the extent of surgical resection, performance status, grade, age of patient and molecular characteristics. Among CNS tumors, gliomas are the most common type of tumor. Some of the most common types of brain cancer include glioma, meningioma, nerve-sheath tumors, and pituitary tumors.
Pediatric brain tumors are the second most common type of cancer in children after leukemia. Children tend to have a better prognosis when compared to adults. Some of the common pediatric brain cancers include Ependymoma, astrocytoma, medulloblastoma and glioma.
Brain cancer symptoms can be vague or specific. As the tumor grows, it could apply pressure on the brain or spinal cord, increasing the intracranial pressure or displacing adjacent brain (midline shift). Each part or lobe of the brain is responsible for a specific function. Therefore depending on the area of the brain where pressure is exerted or displaced, symptoms could vary.
MOST COMMON BRAIN TUMOR SYMPTOMS ARE:
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Issues with vision
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Neurological symptoms like weakness of upper part or lower part or one side weakness of body
- Slurred speech
- Memory loss and issues with perception and judgement
- Sleep disturbance
- Communication issues
- Loss of balance