Brain Tumors

Somewhere around 117,000 people will be diagnosed with some form of a brain tumor every year. Depending on the type of tumor that one has, the treatment options can vary. Having knowledge of what a brain tumor is can greatly help obtain peace of mind when deciding what to do if you believe you’re exhibiting any symptoms. Of course, you should always consult your primary care physician immediately if you are suspicious that you may have any impediments regarding your brain. 

What is a brain tumor?

The Central Nervous System consists of the spinal cord and the brain. The brain is the most important organ in the body, it controls and regulates all the body’s functions. That being said, there are multiple parts of the brain and depending on where the tumor is located will dictate which symptoms an individual will experience; the affected region of the brain will also determine potential treatment options. 

A brain tumor can be defined as a group of abnormal cells that have grown in the brain. Tumors can be benign, which means there aren’t any cancer cells, or they can be malignant, meaning that cancer cells proliferate quickly. Brain Tumors can also be primary, having formed in the brain directly, or secondary/metastatic, having originated somewhere else within the body and traveled to the brain. 

Less than one-third of all brain tumors are cancerous, but a benign tomorrow still considered to be a serious medical condition; it causes pain and discomfort depending on its location, and it requires immediate medical attention to prevent spreading. 

Symptoms of a brain tumor 

A brain tumor can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the size, location and type of tumor. Here’s a list of symptoms that may alert you that something isn’t right, especially if these occurrences are chronic;

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Memory loss
  • Fatigue
  • Neuropsychiatric changes
  • Personality changes 
  • Mass effect (vision problems, nausea, drowsiness that is caused by the tumor pressing on the tissue surrounding the nerves)

Please note that this list isn’t exhaustive and that brain tumors can affect certain individuals differently than others. The specific cause of brain tumors isn’t known but certain factors such as a family history of brain cancer or exposure to high levels of ionizing radiation can increase your chances of developing a brain tumor. What’s most important is to gain the necessary knowledge to be able to address the tumor, as the brain is such a critical part of the human body. Always consult a physician for treatment options or further information if you suspect a brain tumor, or if you’d like to learn more. 

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