Brain Cancer

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Brain Cancer
Brain Cancer

Although not related to skin cancer, brain cancer is another type of cancer which we will briefly describe on this page. Brain cancer is a life-threatening disease in which the malignant cancerous cells arise in the brain tissue and the cancerous cell growth hampers the normal brain functioning. When a person suffers from brain cancer, the functions of the brain including muscle control, memory, retention, sensation and other normal body functions as controlled by the brain may get affected seriously. The mass of cancer tissue or tumor arises due to the growth of the cancer cells that causes damage to the brain functioning. It is important to know about the facts pertaining to brain cancer and be aware of the risk factors, causes of brain cancer and treatment options in order to guard against this fatal disease. Here are some of the general facts about brain cancer.

Facts Related To Two Types Of Brain Tumors

Brain cancers are primarily of two types- metastatic brain tumors and primary brain tumors. Mass of cancerous cells that develop from brain tissue and stays within the brain are called primary brain tumors, while metastatic brain tumors are cancerous cells that spread from other body parts to the brain. Tumor that migrates to the brain from other parts of the body such as lung, breast, colon or prostate are the most common brain tumors.

The commonest primary brain tumor originates from supporting brain cells - glial cells and is called as Glioma. Half of all the cases of brain tumors reported worldwide start as benign tumors. If a person suffering from a primary brain tumor dies that it is possible for him to donate his organs as the brain cancer does not spread to other parts. Another interesting fact about brain cancer is that one of the brain tumors is known by the term - 'Astrocytomas' and it is labeled so because of the fact that the cells resemble stars.

The American Brain Tumor Association reveals that there are 120 different sub-classifications of brain cancer and all these brain cancer forms can be treated only if detected early on. The World Health Organization has listed over 126 primary brain tumors.

Causes And Risk Factors

While it is largely the various types of brain tissues such as astrocytes, glial cells and other brain cells that are responsible for causing primary brain tumor, the metastic brain tumor is triggered by spread of cancerous cells from one organ of the body to the brain. Researchers are still unable to clearly point out the reason behind the transition of normal cells into cancerous cells in both the cases of primary and metastatic brain tumor. Most scientific researchers believe that people with certain risk factors are more likely to be affected with brain tumor.

People with too much exposure to radiation stand higher risk of suffering from brain cancer. Besides radiation exposure, older age, exposure to harmful chemicals, family medical history and race are also pointed out as some of the risk factors for brain cancer. Study have also shown that brain tumor affects more whites than people belonging to other races and most often people suffering this brain disease are above the age of 45. Brain cancer due to radiation will develop in a person only if he has been exposed to radiation for a longer duration of time. Exposure to vinyl chloride, petroleum products, electromagnetic fields and aspartame can also cause brain cancer.

People employed in oil refinery or holding jobs as a rubber-industry worker or a chemist, embalmer also have higher risk of being diagnosed with brain cancer. Heredity is also believed to be a cause for brain tumors but so far it has not been proved.

Symptoms Of Brain Cancer

A common symptom of brain cancer is persistent headaches that are usually terrible when a person wakes up in the morning but they get better as the day passes. Most people do not have any clue about their being suffering from brain cancer until they suffer an attack. When an individual suffers from brain tumor, he also undergoes several mental and personality changes such as memory retention problems, confusion, inability to take decisions and one can witness sudden changes in the personality. Other common symptoms of brain cancer are memory loss, eye weakness, speech disturbances and nausea. Changes that arise in a person suffering from brain cancer largely depend on the location of the brain tumor.

Treatment Facts

There are different ways in which brain tumors can be treated. The most common methods are radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, surgery and chemotherapy. A combination of these methods can also help a person in surviving brain cancer. High energy X-rays are used to prevent the cancer cell to grow and to kill them entirely.