The brain is the composed of nerve cells and supportive tissues like glial cells and meninges.
Primary brain tumor begins within the brain and can be either malignant (contain cancer cells) or benign (do not contain cancer cells). A secondary brain tumor may originate elsewhere in the body and then migrate to the brain. The exact cause of brain tumor is still unknown; however, the risk factors are exposure to ionizing radiation and family history.
The signs symptoms of depending on their size of the tumor, type of tumor, and where it is located. Treatment options and recommendations depend on several factors:
• The size, type, grade, and spread of the tumor
• Whether the tumor is pressurizing vital parts of the brain
• Possible side effects
• Overall health and quality of life of the patient
Symptoms can include hemiparalysis, seizures, personality changes, changes in grasp reflex, speech changes, loss of smell unilaterally, inability to recognize objects in hand, contralateral visual field defects, tremors, nystagmus, one-sided deafness, vomiting, headaches, unequal pupils, amnesia for recent events, and somnolence.
Treatment options include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, and targeted therapies, along with symptomatic treatment and care for side effects.
Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill tumor cells and ends the growth of cancer cells, usually given after surgery or with or after radiation therapy. Chemotherapy can be given via oral route in the form of a pill or capsule or via intravenous injection placed into a vein using a needle or via a catheter or port. A chemotherapy regimen usually consists of a specific number of cycles given over a fixed period. A patient may receive one drug or different combinations of a drug at the same time.
The side effects of chemotherapy include fatigue, neutropenia with an increased risk of infection, nausea, vomiting, hair loss, loss of appetite and diarrhea.
Radiation therapy is the use of high-energy x-rays to destroy tumor cells to inhibit or kill the growth of the tumor. It is mostly given after surgery and may also be given along with chemotherapy. The most common type of radiation treatment is called external-beam radiation therapy, which is radiation given from a machine outside the body. When radiation treatment is given by means of implants, it is called as internal radiation therapy or brachytherapy. External-beam radiation therapy can be directed at the tumor by conventional radiation therapy, 3-dimensional conformal radiation therapy, intensity modulated radiation therapy, proton therapy, or Fractionated stereotactic radiation therapy.
Short-term side effects from radiation therapy may include mild skin reactions, weakness, hair loss, upset stomach, vomiting, upset stomach, and neurologic symptoms. Radiation destroys healthy tissue as well and is not recommended for small children.
Surgery is the removal of the tumor and is usually the first treatment for a brain tumor and for a low-grade brain tumor. Removing the tumor can improve symptoms and improve the prognosis of a person with a brain tumor. If the tumor is near the speech center of the brain, many times the operation is performed with the patient remaining awake during the surgery. In addition to removing the size of the brain tumor surgery can provide a tissue sample for biopsy analysis. For a cancerous tumor, even if it cannot be cured, removing the tumor itself can help in reducing the symptoms which were arising from the pressure on the brain.
In addition to standard chemotherapy, targeted therapy is a treatment that targets the tumor and blocks the growth of tumor cells while simultaneously limiting the damage to healthy cells
Anti-angiogenesis therapy is also a type of targeted therapy used that focuses on inhibiting angiogenesis (forming new blood vessels that helps tumor to spread fast). The objective of anti-angiogenesis therapies is to “starve” the tumor. Bevacizumab (Avastin) is an anti-angiogenesis therapy used to treat glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) when the standard or existing or prior treatment has not worked.
Palliative and symptomatic care
An important part of care is alleviating the patient’s symptoms and side effects. This approach is called palliative or supportive care, and it includes supporting the patient with his or her physical, emotional, and social needs, improving quality of life, and supporting patients and their families. It works finest when palliative care is started as soon as possible and as needed in the treating process. In fact, patients who receive both the treatment and palliative care at the same time often have less severe symptoms, better quality of life, and report that they are more satisfied with treatment.
Palliative treatments vary widely and often include medication, nutritional changes, relaxation techniques, emotional support, and other therapies. Supportive care for people with a brain tumor includes corticosteroids to lessen swelling in the brain, improve neurological symptoms by decreasing the pressure and anti-seizure medicines to control seizures.