Brain Tumor – Causes and Symptoms of Brain Tumor
Brain tumor can be defined as a mass or growth of abnormal cells in the brain which can be a noncancerous one (benign) or cancerous (malignant). A tumor that begins in the brain is a primary brain tumor and those which begin in other parts of the body and then spread to the brain are called secondary or metastatic brain tumors. The symptoms can present themselves with a variety of signs depending on the part of brain that is affected.The most common symptom is severe headache that lasts for many days and months. The treatment depends on the type of the tumor, its size and location.
Causes of Brain Tumor
The causes can be of two types depending on their origination. They include:
Primary Brain Tumor
- This type of tumor originates from the brain itself and is much less common than the secondary brain tumors.
- The brain is made up of neurons and glia that helps in the functioning part and provide physical support.
- The neuron tissue is the basis of a tumor because tumor of the glial cells are glioma and are highly cancerous.
- If the tumor begins at the meninges then they are mostly benign.
- Sometimes, the pituitary and pineal glands can be the basis for benign glandular tumors.
Secondary Brain Tumors
- These tumors are metastatic tumors where the cancer is formed in other organs.
- These cancer cells leak from the primary tumor.
- These leaked cells enter the lymphatic system and into the blood cells.
- These cells are deposited in the brain as they are circulated through the blood stream.
- These cells continue to grow and multiply in huge numbers and primary cancerous tissue is formed.
- Unfortunately, this is the most common cause of cancers.
Though doctors are not sure regarding the exact cause of cancer but certain risk factors are believed to cause cancer. They include:
- Race: Brain tumors are more common among whites than among other races.
- Age: As the age progresses, the risk of suffering from brain tumor increases. Some of the cancers like medulloblastomas, occur only in children.
- Exposure to radiation: Ionizing radiations used to treat any type of cancers have an increased risk of brain tumor. Radiations from cell phones and microwave ovens are not proved to be dangerous.
- Chemical exposure on the job: People working in certain industries have a high risk of tumors.
- Family history: In very few cases, tumors occur in people with a family history of brain tumors. Genetic syndromes can also cause such tumors.
The signs and symptoms of brain tumor may include:
- Headaches that become more severe and frequent
- Vision problems like blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
- Speech difficulties
- Personality or behavior changes
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting
- Gradual loss of sensation
- Confusion in everyday matters
- Difficulty with balance
- Hearing problems
When to see a doctor?
When you suffer from these signs and symptoms which may include headaches that can increase with nausea and vomiting, make an appointment with your doctor or neurologist for diagnosis and further treatment before your condition worsens. Remember brain tumor is a life-threatening disease.