Health Care

Brain Cancer

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Brain Cancer

What is Brain Cancer?

Brain cancer is caused due to overgrowth of cells in the brain. It can form masses called tumors. Brain tumors can grow quickly depending upon its type. It disrupts the way your body works which can be life threatening. Brain cancer is so uncommon that American Cancer Society estimates people have less than one percent chance of developing a malignant brain tumor.

What are the symptoms of Brain Cancer?

The symptoms of brain cancer depend upon their size and location. Many symptoms are caused by other less serious conditions. Some of the common symptoms of brain cancer are as follows:

  • Headache (usually worse in the morning)
  • Vomiting 
  • Nausea 
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Memory lapses
  • Unexplained passing out
  • Seizures 
  • Drowsiness 
  • Muscle jerking

If you are facing any of the above symptoms it is better to visit a doctor to have your symptoms investigated.

Risk Factors for Brain Cancer

There are certain factors that can increase your risk of brain cancer. Exposure to high doses of ionizing radiation and a family history are both factors for brain cancer.

If you have cancer in another part of the body it is also a risk factor for developing brain tumors. Though it is not called brain cancer, they are cancers that can spread to the brain.

Cancer that commonly spread to the brain are:

  • Blood cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Breast cancer 
  • Bladder cancer
  • Melanoma (type of skin cancer)

What are the types of Brain Cancer?

Cancer that begins in your brain is called primary brain cancer. Cancer that is spread to the brain from other parts of the body is called metastatic brain cancer. Cancerous tumors are mostly due to metastatic brain cancer and not due to primary brain cancer.

There are grades and types for brain tumors as well. Tumor type is based on where it’s located in the brain and there are 120 types of brain tumor. Different doctors can use different names for the same tumor as there is no standard naming for the types of tumors. The grade indicates how quickly a tumor grows and it ranges from 1 to 4, with grade 4 having the fastest growth. 

How is Brain Cancer Treated?

Treatment for the primary and metastatic brain cancer is different. You can receive one or more treatments depending on the location and size of your brain tumor.

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