Being recently diagnosed with a brain tumor is a frightening time. Fortunately, a large percentage of brain tumors include benign growths, thus the condition is non-cancerous. Nonetheless, the presence of benign tumors increases the chances of more tumors developing, which also increases the future likelihood of developing brain cancer.
What is Brain Cancer?
Each year, approximately 35,000 persons are diagnosed with brain cancer. Brain cancer arises from the uncontrollable growth of abnormal cells. Ordinarily, our bodies produce healthy cells which are intended to fight infections such as colds, fevers, and so forth. On rare occasions, healthy cells divide abnormally and grow. An abnormal growth of healthy cells results in a benign tumor. On the other hand, if unhealthy cells develop, tumors are malignant.
There are two types of brain cancers. This consists of cancerous cells that originate in the brain, and cancer cells that spread from other parts of the body. When the latter occurs, the cancer has metastasized. Cancer originating from other organs and spreading to the brain is extremely dangerous. Sadly, once cancer affects the brain, the condition is too far advanced to treat. Nonetheless, there have been success stories.
The odds of surviving brain cancer depend highly on the stage of the disease at diagnosis. Stage 1 and Stage 2 brain cancer is easier to treat because the condition progresses slowly. Stage 3 brain cancer also has a high success rate even though cancer at this stage begins to progress slightly faster. Once the cancer is classified as Stage 4, the success rate lowers. Usually, this stage is classified by widespread cancer cells in brain, spinal cord, and other nearby organs.
Signs and Symptoms
The initial sign of brain cancer is a headache. However, all headaches are not related to brain cancer. Typically, headaches linked with cancer have a specific pattern. For starters, headaches are generally present in the morning and lessen as time passes. The headache will come and go over a period of several weeks or months. Other common symptoms of possible brain tumors and cancer include:
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Memory Problems
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Speech Problems
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Difficulty Walking
Many factors contribute to the chosen treatment option for brain cancer. Doctors will likely examine the location of the tumor, size, and stage. Before treatment begins, patients will likely undergo a biopsy to determine the presence of cancer. Even if the tumor is benign, removal is necessary to prevent future complications. There are three options for treating brain cancer.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Surgery: Procedure involves removing all or portions of the tumor.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Chemotherapy: A cancer-fighting drug effective with destroying cancer cells and preventing the growth of new cells.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Radiation Therapy: A cancer treatment designed to shrink tumor, kill cancer, and prevent the growth and spread of new cancer cells.