Malignant Brain Tumor...Special entry for my beloved mak.
Brain tumors can be either malignant or benign.
The causes of brain tumors are not known.
Brain tumors can occur at any age.
Primary brain tumors initially form in the brain tissue.
Secondary brain tumors are cancers that have spread to the brain tissue from tissue elsewhere in the body.
The symptoms of brain tumors depend on their size and their location in the brain.
Brain tumors are diagnosed by the doctor based on the results of a medical history and physical examination and results of a variety of specialized tests of the brain and nervous system.
Treatment of a brain tumor depends on the type, location, and size of the tumor, as well as the age and health of the patient.
Cancer begins in cells, the building blocks that make up tissues. Tissues make up the organs of the body.
Normally, cells grow and divide to form new cells as the body needs them. When cells grow old, they die, and new cells take their place.
Sometimes this orderly process goes wrong. New cells form when the body does not need them, and old cells do not die when they should. These extra cells can form a mass of tissue called a growth or tumor.
Brain tumors can be benign or malignant:
Benign brain tumors do not contain cancer cells:
Usually, benign tumors can be removed, and they seldom grow back.
The border or edge of a benign brain tumor can be clearly seen. Cells from benign tumors do not invade tissues around them or spread to other parts of the body. However, benign tumors can press on sensitive areas of the brain and cause serious health problems.
Unlike benign tumors in most other parts of the body, benign brain tumors are sometimes life threatening.
Very rarely, a benign brain tumor may become malignant.
Malignant brain tumors contain cancer cells:
Malignant brain tumors are generally more serious and often are life threatening.
They are likely to grow rapidly and crowd or invade the surrounding healthy brain tissue.
Very rarely, cancer cells may break away from a malignant brain tumor and spread to other parts of the brain, to the spinal cord, or even to other parts of the body. The spread of cancer is called metastasis.
Sometimes, a malignant tumor does not extend into healthy tissue. The tumor may be contained within a layer of tissue. Or the bones of the skull or another structure in the head may confine it. This kind of tumor is called encapsulated.
Doctors sometimes group brain tumors by grade—from low grade (grade I) to high grade (grade IV). The grade of a tumor refers to the way the cells look under a microscope. Cells from high-grade tumors look more abnormal and generally grow faster than cells from low-grade tumors.
No one knows the exact causes of brain tumors. Doctors can seldom explain why one person develops a brain tumor and another does not. However, it is clear that brain tumors are not contagious. No one can "catch" the disease from another person.
Research has shown that people with certain risk factors are more likely than others to develop a brain tumor. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease.
The following risk factors are associated with an increased chance of developing a primary brain tumor:
Being male—In general, brain tumors are more common in males than females. However, meningiomas are more common in females.
Race—Brain tumors occur more often among white people than among people of other races.
Age—Most brain tumors are detected in people who are 70 years old or older. However, brain tumors are the second most common cancer in children. (Leukemia is the most common childhood cancer.) Brain tumors are more common in children younger than 8 years old than in older children.
Family history—People with family members who have gliomas may be more likely to develop this disease.
Being exposed to radiation or certain chemicals at work:
Radiation—Workers in the nuclear industry have an increased risk of developing a brain tumor.
Formaldehyde—Pathologists and embalmers who work with formaldehyde have an increased risk of developing brain cancer. Scientists have not found an increased risk of brain cancer among other types of workers exposed to formaldehyde.
Vinyl chloride—Workers who make plastics may be exposed to vinyl chloride. This chemical may increase the risk of brain tumors.
Acrylonitrile—People who make textiles and plastics may be exposed to acrylonitrile. This exposure may increase the risk of brain cancer.
Scientists are investigating whether cell phones may cause brain tumors. Studies thus far have not found an increased risk of brain tumors among people who use cell phones.
Scientists also continue to study whether head injuries are a risk factor for brain tumors. So far, these studies have not found an increased risk among people who have had head injuries.
Most people who have known risk factors do not get brain cancer. On the other hand, many who do get the disease have none of these risk factors. People who think they may be at risk should discuss this concern with their doctor. The doctor may be able to suggest ways to reduce the risk and can plan an appropriate schedule for checkups.
The symptoms of brain tumors depend on tumor size, type, and location. Symptoms may be caused when a tumor presses on a nerve or damages a certain area of the brain. They also may be caused when the brain swells or fluid builds up within the skull.
These are the most common symptoms of brain tumors:
Headaches (usually worse in the morning)
Nausea or vomiting
Changes in speech, vision, or hearing
Problems balancing or walking
Changes in mood, personality, or ability to concentrate
Problems with memory
Muscle jerking or twitching (seizures or convulsions)
Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
These symptoms are not sure signs of a brain tumor. Other conditions also could cause these problems. Anyone with these symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible. Only a doctor can diagnose and treat the problem.
If a person has symptoms that suggest a brain tumor, the doctor may perform one or more of the following procedures:
Physical exam—The doctor checks general signs of health.
Neurologic exam—The doctor checks for alertness, muscle strength, coordination, reflexes, and response to pain. The doctor also examines the eyes to look for swelling caused by a tumor pressing on the nerve that connects the eye and brain.
CT scan—An x-ray machine linked to a computer takes a series of detailed pictures of the head. The patient may receive an injection of a special dye so the brain shows up clearly in the pictures. The pictures can show tumors in the brain.
MRI—A powerful magnet linked to a computer makes detailed pictures of areas inside the body. These pictures are viewed on a monitor and can also be printed. Sometimes a special dye is injected to help show differences in the tissues of the brain. The pictures can show a tumor or other problem in the brain.
Regular followup is very important after treatment for a brain tumor. The doctor checks closely to make sure that the tumor has not returned. Checkups may include careful physical and neurologic exams. From time to time, the patient may have MRI or CT scans. If the patient has a shunt, the doctor checks to see that it is working well. The doctor can explain the followup plan—how often the patient must visit the doctor and what tests will be needed.
treatment?? after 1 st operation mak kena buat radiotherapy, chemotherapy......then mkn ubat chemo sekali.....after 1st operation mak ok lagi...boleh jalan.....boleh buat kija mcm biasa...tp after 2nd operation ni mak tak leh jln dah.....anggota sebelah kanan badan mak pong macam malfunction.....boleh gerak left side jerk....
Living with a serious disease such as a brain tumor is not easy. Some people find they need help coping with the emotional and practical aspects of their disease. Support groups can help. In these groups, patients or their family members get together to share what they have learned about coping with the disease and the effects of treatment. Patients may want to talk with a member of their health care team about finding a support group. Groups may offer support in person, over the telephone, or on the Internet.
People living with a brain tumor may worry about caring for their families, keeping their jobs, or continuing daily activities. Concerns about treatments and managing side effects, hospital stays, and medical bills are also common. Doctors, nurses, and other members of the health care team can answer questions about treatment, working, or other activities. Meeting with a social worker, counselor, or member of the clergy can be helpful to those who want to talk about their feelings or discuss their concerns. Often, a social worker can suggest resources for financial aid, transportation, home care, or emotional support.
The Cancer Information Service can provide information to help patients and their families locate programs, services, and publications.
The promise of cancer research
Doctors all over the country are conducting many types of clinical trials. These are research studies in which people take part voluntarily. Studies include new ways to treat brain tumors. Research has already led to advances, and researchers continue to search for more effective approaches.
Patients who join these studies have the first chance to benefit from treatments that have shown promise in earlier research. They also make an important contribution to medical science by helping doctors learn more about the disease. Although clinical trials may pose some risks, researchers take very careful steps to protect their patients.
Researchers are testing new anticancer drugs, doses, and treatment schedules. They are working with various drugs and drug combinations, as well as combinations of drugs and radiation therapy. They also are testing new methods and schedules of radiation therapy.
Patients who are interested in being part of a clinical trial should talk with their doctor. NCI's Web site includes a section on clinical trials at http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials. This section of the Web site provides general information about clinical trials. It also offers detailed information about ongoing studies of treatment for brain tumors. The Cancer Information Service at 1-800-4-CANCER can answer questions and provide information about clinical trials.