June 8th is celebrated as world Brain tumor day. This day was initiated by German Brain tumor Association in the year 2000 with the aim to spread awareness about this lethal disease. Several researches have been going on for the treatment of Brain tumors. NAYS convey a short article to spread awareness among the common people in Pakistan about this disease.
The brain is a soft, spongy mass of tissue. It is protected by the bones of the skull and three thin membranes called meninges. A network of nerves carries messages back and forth between the brain and the rest of the body. The brain directs the things we choose to do (like walking and talking) and the things our body does without thinking (like breathing). The brain is also in charge of our senses (sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell), memory, emotions, and personality.
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:
i. Usually, benign tumors can be removed, and they seldom grow back.
ii. 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.
iii. Unlike benign tumors in most other parts of the body, benign brain tumors are sometimes life threatening.
iv. Very rarely, a benign brain tumor may become malignant.
i. Malignant brain tumors are generally more serious and often are life threatening.
ii. They are likely to grow rapidly and crowd or invade the surrounding healthy brain tissue.
iii. 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.
iv. 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.
The following tests may confirm the presence of a brain tumor and find its location:
Treatment can involve surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Other medications used to treat primary brain tumors in children like Dexamethasone, Anticonvulsants, Pain medications and Antacids or histamine blockers to control stress ulcers.