- When there is formation of mass of the tissue, made from the unwanted growth of cells in the brain, it is called brain tumour. The tumor can be malignant or benign type in nature. Malignant is cancerous and has the tendency to spread at a rapid speed.
- If a brain tumour is detected, immediate treatment of the same is recommended to avoid any life threatening complications at later stages. Treatment of a tumour depends upon the type of tumour found in the brain. Brain tumour treatment can be availed at relatively lower budgets, compared to other parts in the world, that too without compromising on the quality of treatments.
Types of Brain Tumour
1. Surgery: If the patient has the capacity to bear it, surgery is always the first option given to them. A brain tumor can be removed as much as possible through the surgery if it is located in the area that makes it possible for an operation. Brain tumor treatment includes following types of surgeries:
- Biopsy: Surgeons can take a small portion of the tumor and then do a biopsy on it to identify the type of tumor to perform the non-surgical procedures later. Thus, when you are removing a portion of the brain tumor it subsequently may help reduce other signs and symptoms. A hollow needle can also be used to do the stereotactic biopsy, in which the needle is inserted in the skull to remove some portion of the tumor.
- Craniotomy: In craniotomy, a part of the skull is removed to remove the tumor from the brain. After removing the tumor, patient’s own bone is used to close the opening in the skull. Some tumor in the brain are approached from nose or the top of the neck. Surgeons can opt for mapping to understand the anatomy of the patient’s brain and to use it while removing the tumor.
- Shunt: A shunt is a narrow piece of tube called catheter that is inserted into the ventricle of the brain to release the excess pressure in the skull. Sometimes, patients with brain tumor develop intracranial pressure and to remove that catheter is used. One side of the catheter is drilled in the skull while the other side of it is threaded through the skin and pulled out of the body cavity either from the atrium of the heart or the abdominal cavity. Out of all the procedures, a shunt is a minor one for brain tumor treatment.
2. Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy kills tumor cells, which uses high-energy beams, such as x-rays or protons. It is usually given after the surgery or with chemotherapy to kill the remaining cancer cells in the brain. External beam radiation therapy is used to target the cancer cells from outside of the body with the highly activated rays.
Other type of radiation therapy is brachytherapy that is given using implants in the body and is also known as internal radiation therapy.
Common side effects include fatigue, headaches and scalp irritation.
3. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy kills or slows down tumor cells through the usage of drugs. Chemotherapy drugs can be taken orally in the form of pills or injected into the vein. Chemotherapy is recommended usually after the brain tumor surgery or with radiation therapy. Some patients receive one drug at a time or some receive a combination of drugs at one time. The chemotherapy procedure is cyclic in nature.
Patients are monitored with regular MRI to while there is an active treatment going on. This is done to keep a check in the brain and see if the tumor has grown back. If the tumor grows back during the treatment, other procedures are applied to treat the tumor or the same procedure continues if no tumor is found.
- Headache: Pain in head can start early in the morning and may occur or worsen during the day or while doing any activity.
- Seizures: Sudden involuntary movements in person’s body is called seizures. Different people have different types of seizures like, myoclonic which means single or multiple muscle jerks or spasms; tonic-clonic involves loss of consciousness and body tone followed by body contractions.
- Sensory change: Change in sensation, vision, smell or hearing
- Personal changes: nausea, vomiting, fatigue, drowsiness, memory problems, problem in walking.