Cancer - this word sounds like a sentence. Having heard the terrible diagnosis for the first time, the patient thinks that life has already ended. But it is common for any person to hope for the best, and he is looking for an answer to the question: is brain cancer treated? Is it possible to continue living with such a disease?
How does brain cancer qualify?
A brain tumor is a neoplasm that can have a different etiology and differ in class: be primary and secondary.
Primary tumors arise in the brain itself, and do not metastasize from other organs. Benign neoplasms are localized in one part of the brain, while they do not destroy the surrounding tissues, do not give metastases and do not spread throughout the human body. The benign quality of a tumor is determined by its slow growth rate. And, as a rule, the symptoms depend on the location. So, it can be expressed in attacks of headaches, epileptic seizures, hearing loss or vision loss. Quite often, such tumors are asymptomatic and are detected by chance during examination on a magnetic resonance imaging scanner. In some cases, removal of the tumor is not possible. For example, in the vicinity of vital brain structures. Very often, after removal, the disease gives a relapse. Then radiation therapy or repeated resection is performed.
Malignant neoplasms. A tumor of this kind can spread to nearby healthy tissue and destroy them. In brain cancer, pathology has a detrimental effect not only on the brain, but also on other organs and cells of the body. Malignant tumors grow very quickly and make themselves felt only in the last stages, when their removal is not possible. Is Brain Cancer Treated? Perhaps with early detection and timely treatment.
A secondary tumor is usually called the spread of cancer cells from other affected organs. Secondary brain cancer occurs three times more often than primary cancer. How long they live with it depends on how actively the metastases attack the brain. As a rule, metastases penetrate into the brain in breast, skin, kidney, and lung cancer. Is the secondary process cured of brain cancer? With this form, the chances are negligible, since metastases have already begun.
Varieties of brain tumors
Depending on the location, there is the following classification of neoplasms:
The tumor develops from the glial cells of the brain. This tumor has 4 stages and is most common in men and children. Gliomas include oligodendroglioma, epindymoma, and mixed glioma.
Meningioma is mostly benign.
Medulloblastoma is a malignant form of neoplasm, which mainly affects children.
- neoplasm of malignant etiology that affects the lymphatic system.
- adenoma. A tumor with a benign course., pineal gland. Malignant neoplasm, which makes itself felt only at 4 stages, when the resection operation cannot be performed. Is it possible to cure brain cancer with this course? The chances of recovery are slim.
Hemangioblastomas are lesions of blood vessels by benign neoplasms.
Neurinoma is a lesion of the auditory nerve with a benign tumor. Spinal cord tumors.
Causes of brain cancer
The exact causes of brain cancer have not yet been established, but there are a number of factors that increase the risk of its occurrence. These include:
- Floor. Men get sick more often than women.
- Age. Most often, a brain tumor can be observed in people over 65. It is characteristic that children under 8 years of age are also at risk.
- Ethnicity. Compared to others, Caucasians are 2 times more likely to get cancer.For example, glioma is typical for people with white skin.
- Health status. An important cause of brain cancer is diseases of the immune system. For example, HIV infection, organ and tissue transplantation, conditions after chemotherapy.
- Chemical substances. People working in hazardous industries suffer from brain tumors much more often.
- Heredity. The risk of getting sick is increased if a relative has had brain cancer.
- Environment and radiation. People who work with radioactive materials are at risk for neoplasms. Researchers recently concluded that household appliances and the proximity of high-voltage power lines can affect the development of brain tumors, as they generate electromagnetic fields that can change the structure of cells. But cellular and mobile phones are recognized as safe and do not affect the structure of gray matter.
How does brain cancer manifest?
The symptoms of brain cancer are varied and depend on the location of the tumor. With the primary (focal) signs of the disease, compression and destruction of brain tissue in the area of the neoplasm occurs. When the tumor progresses, cerebral symptoms appear, in which hemodynamics are impaired and intracranial pressure increases.
There are the following lesions, which depend on the localization of the process:
Movement disorders in the form of paralysis and paresis. There is a decrease in muscle activity, dysfunction of the limbs. Violation of sensitivity. In humans, it decreases or disappears altogether. He does not respond to external stimuli: cold, pain, or tactile touch. Very often there is a violation of the ability to determine the position of the limbs relative to the body. Impaired speech and hearing recognition occurs when the auditory nerve is damaged.
Epileptic seizures. Observed with stagnant foci of excitation in the cerebral cortex.
Visual impairment. When a tumor of the optic nerve is squeezed or located near the quadruple, partial or complete loss of vision occurs.
Violation of speech. Absence or partial presence of slurred speech. Hormonal imbalance.
Autonomic disorders: fatigue, constant fatigue, dizziness, fluctuations in pressure and pulse.
Disorder of coordination. With damage to the cerebellum, the gait changes, the patient cannot make precise movements. Memory is impaired, irritability appears, character changes.
With the progression of the process, there is a complete disorientation in time and the loss of one's own personality.
Symptoms are due to increased intracranial pressure and compression of the brain by the tumor.
Headaches. They are permanent and intense and practically do not stop.
Nausea and vomiting pursues the patient constantly, as there is a constant squeezing of the vomiting center in the midbrain. Dizziness appears when the tumor presses on the cerebellum.
Brain Cancer Treatment
All patients, admitted to the hospital with such a diagnosis, ask themselves the question: can brain cancer be treated? High-quality treatment implies a complex of expensive technological clinical measures. Unfortunately, it is not curable in all cases. It all depends on the degree of brain cancer and its type.
The following groups of drugs significantly alleviate the patient's condition, but do not eliminate the main cause of the disease. Glucocorticosteroids help reduce cerebral symptoms. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs help relieve pain. Narcotic analgesics are used for severe pain syndrome, vomiting and psychomotor agitation.
This is the most effective way to treat cancer. A neurosurgeon cuts the tumor through healthy tissues. It all depends on the location and stage of the tumor.In practice, the operation is effective only at stage 1. At the next stages of the disease, the treatment tactics are different. In particular, radiation therapy is used.
Such therapy is necessary to stop the growth of pathological cells. It is also performed before and after surgery.
Typically, this treatment is prescribed when the tumor is at an advanced stage and is inoperable. The dose and type of specific drugs for each patient are calculated individually.
Brain cancer is treated, but only if detected early. After undergoing treatment courses, recovery occurs in 60-80%. If a person comes too late, then the chance of recovery is less than 30%.