Brain Tumor: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Overview

A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cells that grows in or around the brain. Brain tumors, either malignant or benign, can begin in your brain, or in other parts of your body and spread to your brain. They can directly or indirectly damage your health brain cells. Brain tumors have different impacts on the function of your nervous system, depending on their growth rate and locations.

In the United States, nearly 40,000 people are diagnosed with brain tumor each year. And approximately 60 percent of all brain tumors discovered are cancerous ones.

Causes

The exact cause of brain cancer remains unknown. However, some factors are found to have close relations with brain cancer. including:

  • a family history of brain cancer
  • increased age
  • exposure to radiation. pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizer
  • a weakened immune system
  • certain types of cancer that can spread to the brain from a part of your body
  • an Epstein-Barr virus infection, or mononucleosis
  • long-term smoking

Symptoms

The symptoms of a brain tumor vary greatly and depend on the brain tumor’s size, location and rate of growth.

General symptoms of brain tumors may include:

  • frequent headaches
  • unexplained vomiting, with or without nausea
  • vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
  • seizures
  • impaired thinking, mental confusion, or even coma
  • a lack of coordination and balance
  • difficulty walking
  • abnormal eye movements
  • muscle jerking and twitching
  • weakness or unsteadiness
  • paralysis on one side of the body
  • dizziness
  • speech difficulty
  • memory loss
  • loss of the sense of smell or hearing
  • personality change

Diagnosis

Tests and procedures to diagnose a brain tumor in a suspected patient include:

  • A neurological exam

A neurological exam helps to check your vision, hearing, balance, coordination, strength and reflexes.

  • Imaging tests

Effective imaging tests normally include magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET).

  • Biopsy

A biopsy is performed to collect and test a sample of abnormal brain tissue, either as a part of an operation, or with a needle.

Treatment

Brain tumors are typically treated with surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or some combination of these three methods.

  • Surgery

The most common treatment is surgery. During the process of a surgery, brain tumor may be removed completely or partially without hurting important brain tissue.

  • Radiation Therapy

When a surgery fails to remove a brain tumor, radiation therapy is used to destroy tumor tissue.

  • Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy involves using drugs to kill cancer cells. These drugs are taken orally or injected into a blood vessel or muscle.

  • Other therapies

Physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy can help you to recover after neurosurgery.

Latest

Aug 5, 2019

A new drug, known as IP1867B, is proved effective by scientists in Brain Tumor Research Center of University of Portsmouth.

IP1867B is a combination of three common ingredients—aspirin, triacetin and saccharin. The mice model suggests that IP1867B could be effective against adult high-grade glioblastoma (GBM), one of the most aggressive forms of human brain cancer, which kills thousands of patients within a year.

IP1867B was shown to reduce the action of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), and block the Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 pathway thereby reducing the tumour’s ability to acquire resistance to these EGFR inhibitors. Tumours acquiring resistance to EGFR inhibitors via this pathway is a significant problem for these treatments. IP1867B helps to ‘light up’ the tumour and reverse acquired resistance.

The next step is to take IP1867B into ‘first in human’ trial. Innovate are actively driving this next stage of development.

Keywords: brain tumor.

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.