• Sunday, June 16, 2024

HEALTH

World Brain Tumour Day: All you need to know about brain tumours

Persistent headaches with intensified patterns or associated symptoms should not be disregarded, experts warn

Common warning signs include persistent headaches, vision problems such as double or blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, and unexplained seizures (Representative Image: iStock)

By: Kimberly Rodrigues

World Brain Tumour Day, observed annually on June 8, aims to raise awareness and educate the public about brain tumours.

The condition involves the uncontrolled growth of abnormal tissue in the brain, which can be either benign or malignant, The Hindustan Times reported.

Malignant tumours tend to grow faster than non-cancerous ones.

The manifestation of symptoms varies based on the tumour’s location, with some symptoms only appearing when the tumour becomes quite large, particularly in less active brain areas.

Brain tumours can originate within the brain or its surrounding tissues, or they can metastasize from other parts of the body.

Common warning signs include persistent headaches, vision problems such as double or blurred vision, nausea, vomiting, and unexplained seizures.

According to neuro surgery experts, brain tumours cause symptoms due to the compression of vital surrounding structures as they grow.

These symptoms can include headaches, vomiting, vision loss or blurring, hearing loss, limb weakness, and difficulties in speech or swallowing, among others.

Experts also emphasise the significance of recognising subtle yet significant indicators of brain tumours.

Persistent headaches with intensified patterns or associated symptoms should not be disregarded. Vision problems, such as blurred or double vision, as well as sudden visual field loss, may also indicate the presence of a brain tumour.

Also, nausea, vomiting, and unexplained dizziness should be monitored closely.

Additionally, unexplained seizures, especially in individuals without a history of epilepsy, require thorough investigation and immediate medical attention.

Dr Vivek Agrawal, from the Department of Neurosurgery at Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital, Mumbai explains that the signs and symptoms of brain tumours depend on their size and location.

He enumerates various behavioural and sensory changes that can serve as indications of a brain tumour, including morning headaches or pressure in the head, eye problems, loss of feeling or movement in limbs, balance issues, speech problems, fatigue, confusion, memory problems, difficulty following commands, personality or behaviour changes, seizures, hearing problems, dizziness, and increased hunger accompanied by weight gain.

Although brain tumours primarily impact the brain itself, they rarely spread beyond it.

Doctors clarify that brain tumours, even the most malignant types, typically do not metastasize to other parts of the body.

Individuals experiencing persistent or progressive symptoms are advised to consult with a neurologist or neurosurgeon for a prompt diagnosis.

Imaging scans, such as CT or MRI, can assist in the diagnostic process and treatment approaches vary depending on the type and severity of the tumour.

Some small, benign tumours with minimal or no symptoms may only require regular monitoring through outpatient visits and MRI scans.

Stereotactic radiosurgery, which delivers targeted radiation to the tumour, can be a viable option in such cases.

However, malignant tumours or benign tumours causing compression of surrounding structures may necessitate surgical intervention.

Doctors highlight the advancements in technology, such as intra-operative neuronavigation, advanced microscopes, and instruments, which have improved the safety, minimally invasive nature, and success rates of brain tumour surgery.

 

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