Modern medical treatment promises higher rates of recovery in patients with Brain Tumor
Authored by Dr Gurneet Singh Sawhney, Senior Consultant – Neurosurgery, Fortis Hospital, Mulund The Brain is considered one of the most complex yet remarkable vital organs that controls nearly all body functions. Hence, a tumor located
Authored by Dr Gurneet Singh Sawhney, Senior Consultant – Neurosurgery, Fortis Hospital, Mulund
The Brain is considered one of the most complex yet remarkable vital organs that controls nearly all body functions. Hence, a tumor located in the Brain region is indeed alarming and needs prompt medical attention. We stand committed to raising general awareness and bust myths related to Brain Tumors in the best possible manner.
Despite Brain Tumors being the 10th most common Tumors in India, the amount of social stigma, financial burden and emotion turmoil that it gives to the patient and the family is incomparable. Hence educating the masses is the only key.
A Brain Tumor is a mass or a growth of abnormal cells in the Brain. Brain Tumors are classified as ‘primary and secondary’ Brain tumors or ‘benign and malignant Brain Tumors. Primary Tumors are those Tumors that begin in the cells of the Brain and are likely to spread to other areas of the Brain or Spine but not to the other organs of the body. On the other hand, Metastatic or secondary Brain Tumors originate from another location in the body and reach the Brain. The incidence of secondary Brain Tumors is relatively high, and they are identified by the source of their origin.
Benign Brain Tumors are slow in growth, non-spreading, and non-cancerous. They grow from cells within the Brain or surrounding it. Benign Brain Tumors are least aggressive. On the other hand, Malignant Brain Tumors contain Cancer cells and can grow and spreading rapidly across the surrounding Brain tissue.
The symptoms of Brain Tumors are related to their location in the Brain. Most commonly, patients develop early morning headaches, associated with vomiting, seizures, speech difficulty, poor understanding, visual issues and so on. There have been instances in which a patient diagnosed with a Brain Tumor has no associated complaints or symptoms.
The diagnosis of Brain Tumors is done by MRI scans. MRI Brain scan with Contrast would provide us with crucial information about the location, type, spread and operability of the Tumor. The biopsy of the Tumor determines the type of the Tumor which is done after the surgical excision of the Tumor. The biopsy classifies into a benign or malignant Tumor. Malignant Tumors are further sub-classified into Grade I, II, III or IV. The life expectancy of a Malignant Tumor with grade IV is approximately 6mnths, if left untreated.
The treating Neurosurgeon may offer a fair overview relating to how the Brain Tumor will take shape and affect the Brain and the overall health of the patient in the future. The treatment of the Brain Tumor depends on certain conditions of the patient such as age, health, and medical history along with the type, location, grade, and size of the Tumor. The mainstay of Brain Tumor treatment is surgery. Complete surgical excision of the Tumor would cure the patient in benign and Grade I and Grade II malignant types. For Grade III and Grade IV Tumors, maximal Tumor excision followed by Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy is the line of treatment. For surgically inapproachable Tumors, Stereotactic biopsy followed by Radiotherapy and Chemotherapy is done.
The overall prognosis of the Brain Tumor patient is good. With all modern technologies of NeuroNavigation, Intraoperative NeuroMonitoring, Intraoperative Ultrasound and MRI, Fluorescence dyes or 5-ALA, the Tumor excision rates have tremendously increased. Also with Stereotactic Radiosurgery, Cyberknife, Gamma Knife, Targeted Therapy, Tumor Treating Fields, the post-operative outcomes have become much better.
Today, we can state with confidence that modern medical treatment and technology promises higher rates of recovery in Brain Tumors.