What is a benign brain tumor?
There are two kinds of brain tumors: benign and malignant. A benign brain tumor is non-cancerous and characterized by inactivity after a certain growth period and the inability to affect adjoining healthy tissues of the brain.
Most benign brain tumors are found by CT or MRI brain scans. The exact causes of benign brain tumors are not known, but investigators have suggested that family history, radiation exposure, or exposure to chemicals may be risk factors.
The best part about benign brain tumors is that they can be removed with surgery and do not recur under normal circumstances. However, the life-threatening nature of a benign brain tumour cannot be denied, because its presence and growth applies pressure on brain tissues and delicate structures within the skull. If not treated quickly, the term “benign” can prove to be inappropriate.
What are the symptoms of benign brain tumors?
Indicators of benign brain tumors may not be explicit and may surface at a later stage. The symptoms may include:
- Difficulty in seeing, hearing and smelling correctly.
- Loss of sense of balance
- Deterioration in mental capacity, such as difficulty to concentrate, remember and/or speak
- Extreme numbness of body parts
- Twitching of muscles
- Sudden convulsion or fits
- Frequent nausea and/or vomiting for no apparent reason
- Partial or complete paralysis of the face
- Recurrent headaches
What are the common types of benign brain tumors?
- Acoustic Schwannoma
- Pituitary Adenomas
- Choroid Plexus Papilloma
What are the treatments of benign brain tumors?
Treatment protocols are based on the patient’s age, the location and size of the tumor, and the patient’s overall condition. Brain surgery with surgical removal of tumor and/or radiation therapy (for example, conventional radiation, gamma knife, proton beam) are the main treatments.
Often other drugs such as corticosteroids that reduce swelling and help the brain heal are part of the treatment plan. Rarely are benign tumors untreatable.
Keywords: benign brain tumor, benign brain tumors