What’s a Brain Tumour?
This is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in the brain. Some brain tumours are non-cancerous or benign while others are cancerous or malignant. Brain tumours can originate in the brain (primary brain tumours), or in other parts of the body and then spread to the brain (secondary, or metastatic, brain tumours).
What are its symptoms?
The signs and symptoms vary, depending on the tumour’s size, location and growth rate. Some signs/symptoms may include:
- New onset or change in the pattern of headaches
- Headaches gradually becoming more frequent and severe
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting and general sickness
- Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
- Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
- Difficulty with balance
- Speech difficulties
- Confusion in daily matters
- Personality or behaviour changes
- Fits and seizures, especially in someone without a history of this
- Hearing problems
If you have persistent signs and symptoms as above, visit your doctor immediately.
What causes Brain Tumour?
The causes can be described as:
Primary brain tumours: Cancers emerging in the brain.
Secondary brain tumours: Cancers that spread to the brain from elsewhere in the body, termed secondary brain tumours or brain metastases. These are more common than the primary ones.
What are the risk factors?
Age. The risk of a tumour increases as we age. Brain tumours are common in older adults. But a tumour can occur at any age.
Radiation exposure. People exposed to a type of radiation called ionizing radiation run a greater risk of brain tumour.
Family history. A small percentage occurs in those with a family history of brain tumours or a history of genetic syndromes that increase the risk of brain tumours.
How are Brain Tumours treated?
Treatment options depend on the type of the tumour as well as its size and location. Typically, brain tumours are treated via surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.