Brain cancer: symptoms and methods of treatment
A brain tumor intracranial neoplasm occurs when abnormal process of cell division, which is in the past, unremarkable components of brain tissue, blood vessels, nerves, meninges, etc. a brain tumor can develop as a result of cancer metastasis that developed in other organs.
Spine cancer is an abnormal division of cells in the spinal cord. Brain cancer can be primary (abnormal if cell division has begun in the spinal cord) or secondary (if develops as a result of the metastasis of cancer from another organ).
Brain cancer occurs in 1.5% of all cancer cases and are one of the most dangerous types of cancer as difficult to treat.
The types of brain tumors:
1) Neuroepithelial tumors occur in 60% of cases of cancer of the brain. Upon detection of neuroepithelial brain tumors most often diagnosed gliomas, which can occur in any part of the brain.
2) Meningeal tumors grow from the meninges, account for 25% of all cases. The most common are meningiomas, growing from the tissues that surround the brain.
3) pituitary Tumors – most often develop on the background of traumatic brain injury, intoxication, neuroinfections.
4) Metastasis of cancerous organs.
Nowadays, 12 of the main types of brain tumors and 100 different subtypes.
Diagnosis is complicated by the fact that the tumor is in the skull. While large tumors can produce very subtle signs of brain cancer, and small – on the contrary pronounced the symptoms of brain cancer. The intensity of the symptoms depends on the speed of growth of the tumor and its localization. Typically, patients come to doctors at late stages when symptoms begin to dramatically increase.
Typical symptoms of brain cancer:
- headaches are the first symptom of brain cancer. It can increase with stress or strong physical exertion, wear a dull, aching or bursting character;
- dizziness is a typical symptom of the late stage can occur in a certain position of the head;
- vomiting – most often appears in the morning amid increasing headache, not associated with food intake;
- problems with vision – reducing its acuity, blurred before my eyes in the morning;
- epileptic seizures and seizures that occur without reason;
- mental disorder: on the background of clear consciousness and adequate behaviour can be observed deterioration of memory, ability to concentrate, apathy and lethargy;
- an impaired ability to recognize objects and written language;
- delusions, hallucinations (monotonous sounds, flashing lights, strong smells);
- violation of motor function of the limbs (paresis, paralysis);
- hearing loss;
- speech disorders;
- loss of pain or touch sensitivity, loss of the ability to determine body position in space;
- hormonal disorders: the fluctuation of hormone levels, dependent on the activity of the hypothalamus or the pituitary gland.
If several of these symptoms person, it is advisable to immediately consult a doctor and undergo a full medical examination. In the diagnosis of brain cancer is obligatory are the following methods:
- checking tendon reflexes;
- computer or magnetic-resonant tomography of the brain;
- checking pain sensitivity and tactile sensitivity.
Final diagnosis is made only after the pathology report.
There are 4 stages of brain cancer (extent):
1) on 1-th degree of the tumor growth is slow; if possible, surgical intervention, the prognosis for recovery is favorable;
2), with 2-degree brain cancer growththe tumor is still slow, but the tumor has affected nearby tissues; the chances of recovery are still quite large;
3) 3rd degree the tumor is growing rapidly, compresses and grows into the surrounding tissue;
4) brain cancer 4 degrees is characterized by the rapid division of cancer cells, the patient's condition deteriorates eyes.
In the treatment of brain cancer using:
- radiation therapy;
- symptomatic treatment (corticosteroids, sedatives, antiemetics, narcotic analgesics).
Brain tumors, even malignant, are not always fatal to humans. The success of treatment depends on timeliness of diagnosis. If the tumor was detected early, the patient survival probability within 5 years is 60-80%, depending on the type of tumor. And at a late stage (brain cancer 4 degrees) or neoperabelnoy of the tumor because of its size or location, the probability of patient survival over the next 5 years is 30-40%.
After completion of treatment in case of favorable outcome the patient is discharged home. Follow-up of cancer survivors is life.
Cancer of the spinal cord
The spinal cord starts at the base of the skull, has a length of from 37 to 42 see the Spinal cord has the appearance of a double-layered tube consisting of gray matter containing nucleus of nerve cells, and white matter consisting of axons, through which nerve impulses are transmitted. The spinal cord is protected by three protective membranes.
Cancer of the spinal cord are introducerii-extramedullary and intramedullary tumors.
Introducere-extramedullary tumors are mostly benign, but when prolonged growth tend to turn into malignant. They are divided into:
- meningiomas tumors of the meninges;
- neurofibromas – tumors originating from the nerve roots;
- ependymomas – tumors of the base of the spinal cord.
Intramedullary tumors originate inside of the spinal cord. They can also be benign or malignant. Intramedullary tumors are divided into:
- astrocytomas (found most often in children);
- ependyma (most often found in adulthood).
Depending on the type of cells, forming malignant tumor, is isolated:
- single plasmacytoma a tumour affecting the vertebrae (the forecast is favorable);
- osteosarcoma – arises in the lumbosacral spine (a very rare form of tumor of the spinal cord);
- multiple myeloma;
- Ewing's sarcoma (most often of all cancers of the spinal cord is diagnosed in children);
- chordoma (the most common form of bone marrow cancer in adults);
- chondrosarcoma – develops in the thoracic spine (80% of all cases of cancer of the spinal cord).
Symptoms of cancer of the spinal cord:
- difficulty walking, muscle weakness;
- inhibition of bowel and bladder;
- reduced pain and temperature sensitivity;
- pain in the back.
Most often back pain has nothing to do with cancer of the spinal cord, however, you should pay special attention to it, if it intensifies at night, is not related to your professional activities and is not reduced under the influence of painkillers.
Symptoms of bone marrow cancer are common to many diseases not related to cancer, so tumors are difficult to diagnose. For the diagnosis of spinal cord tumors are the following:
- computer and magnetic resonance tomography;
The main method of treatment of a tumor of the bone marrow is removed, but it is quite dangerous because of the risk of damage to surrounding nerves, which can leadto irreversible paralysis. Even with a favorable outcome of the operation for the recovery of the spine can take months and years to come, possible loss of sensation and other complications.
Radiation therapy is used to destroy residual tumor of the bone marrow that are not removed during surgery, or inoperable tumors.
Chemotherapy and chemotherapy combined with radiation therapy is used to treat many types of cancer, including cancer of the spinal cord.
The factors that increase the likelihood of cancer, including cancer of the spinal cord or brain, include:
- work at the chemical plants and industrial plants;
- exposure to radioactive radiation;
For cancer prevention brain and spinal cord need to lead a healthy lifestyle, stop Smoking and alcohol abuse, to avoid injuries of the skull and spine.