Brain tumors are the type of disease that can take one by surprise. Whether it is benign or malignant, it is crucial to know the basic facts about brain tumors so that you may recognize if you are ever suffering from any symptoms.
For many, the idea of suffering from a brain tumor is devastating, and that is understandable. An estimated 700,000 Americans are currently living with a brain tumor. Although we do not know what exactly causes brain tumors to form, the statistical survival rate and advanced treatment options are promising.
5 Facts about Brain Tumors
You must know the facts about brain tumors to remain informed for yourself and your loved ones.
- Brain Tumors are not limited to any one age group, race, or gender
- There is a higher chance that one may develop a brain tumor if there is a history of brain tumor formation in the family
- Tumors in the brain can be very complicated due to the limited room within the human skull; if a tumor constricts brain pathways or blood flow, this can negatively affect essential functions like walking, speaking, and memory
- Not all brain tumors are cancerous; only 30% of those diagnosed with a brain tumor will have one that is malignant
- There is a high survival rate for those diagnosed with non-malignant brain tumors
Symptoms of Brain Tumors
Because a brain tumor forms within the brain, this can impact crucial pathways necessary for proper function. If these pathways are blocked or there is pressure on the brain tissue, the following symptoms may manifest:
- A sudden pattern of headaches (i.e., new or very severe)
- Difficulties balancing and walking normally
- A decline in hearing, speech, or vision
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
- Significant changes in mood or focus (i.e., feelings of confusion, anger)
- Vomiting or nausea
*It is important to note that many of the above symptoms can also occur with other illnesses; therefore, it is essential to talk to your neurologist if you are experiencing a pattern of any of these symptoms
The type of treatment for brain tumors depends on the type of tumor itself:
Patients diagnosed with benign tumors generally have a high survival rate. This higher survival rate is due to the tumor's nature, which typically has a low growth rate and a small chance of spreading to other parts of the body. Once removed, the chances of it growing back are close to nothing.
In contrast, malignant brain tumors, also known as brain cancer, are much more severe and can be life-threatening due to the potential of rapid growth and spread of cancer cells.
There are 4 "grade levels" of brain tumors ranked by severity. The treatments vary according to a tumor's grade level.
Benign tumors typically receive a grade level of 1 or 2. There are a variety of treatments, including surgery, available for level 1 and 2 tumors. Tumors with a grade level of 3 or 4 are more severe, and treatment may include chemotherapy along with a combination of other treatments.
Whatever your symptoms, the correct treatment always begins with an accurate diagnosis. If you or a loved one is suffering with headaches, vision change, balance issues, or weakness or numbness, DON'T WAIT! Get evaluated, get your diagnosis, and get started on a treatment program!
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If you have any questions about brain tumors or symptoms that may be affecting you or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact the Neurology Office for more help.
Neurology Office, Joseph Kandel M.D. and Associates
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