8th of June is observed as World Brain Tumor Day since the year 2000 when the German Brain Tumour Association (Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe e.V.) made this day an opportunity to educate the general mass about Brain Tumor. It is crucial to know about Brain Tumor to help those who experience symptoms suggestive of brain tumor.
Various symptoms that should be taken as an alert for seeking consultation include early morning headache, persistent or late-onset headache (after 50y of age), vomiting, sudden blurring of vision, change in the character of ongoing headache, double vision, weakness, balance, and walking problems. Some symptoms may vary depending on the size, type, and location of the tumor. For a better understanding of brain tumor, a basic knowledge of tumor is needed.
A tumor is an unnecessary growth in the cell. These tumors can be malignant (cancer) or benign (non-cancerous) and can occur in any part of the body. As the name suggests, a brain tumor is a tumor seen in any part of the brain. Brain tumors can be primary or secondary. Primary brain tumor arises in the brain whereas, secondary brain tumor arises in other parts of the body and reaches to brain. Secondary brain tumors are more common than primary ones. For a fact, 40% of all malignant tumor spread to the brain.
Brain and central nervous system tumors are also the second most common cancers in children, accounting for about 26% of childhood cancers. Yet most brain tumors are benign (not cancerous). Only one-third of all brain tumors are cancerous. Risk factors are mainly exposure to ionizing radiation and a family history of brain tumors. For a better possibility of cure, it is important to detect this tumor at an early stage.
Brain tumors can be diagnosed by CT (computer tomography) scan or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging). Post diagnosis various treatment options are available depending upon the tumor type (whether primary or secondary). Many brain tumors like low-grade astrocytoma, ganglioglioma, meningioma, schwannoma, epidermoid, etc. are completely curable with neuron avigation, micro neurosurgery, skull-based surgery, endoscopic neurosurgery, gamma knife, radiosurgery, or radiotherapy. And in other brain tumors also, longevity can be improved significantly if diagnosed early. Therefore, early diagnosis is extremely important which is possible only when people are aware of the symptoms and risks associated.
The above-mentioned information about brain disease and its treatment is very important for everyone to understand. As a neurologist, it is my appeal to all the readers to adopt a lifestyle that helps you maintain a healthy body and a healthy brain. Although there are many aspects to understanding brain health in detail, in brief follow the following 5 points:
- Exercise regularly.
- Take a healthy diet, try including dark green leafy vegetables and walnut along other healthy edibles.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol.
- Stay mentally active.
- Learn to manage stress.