10 Frequently Asked Questions About Brain Tumours
1. What is a Brain tumour?
It is a mass of abnormal tissue growing in any part of the brain or outside the brain within the skull.
2. Is a brain tumor treatable?
Modern neurosurgery is to cure or at least control a brain tumor and offer a productive, symptom-free life to a patient.
3. What is the difference between benign and malignant tumours?
Benign tumors grow slowly and do not spread. surgical excision can be curative. Malignant tumors infiltrate the brain and cannot be completely removed. They need radiotherapy and chemotherapy after surgery and may grow again in a shorter period.
4. What are the symptoms of a Brain tumour?
A persistent headache is the most common symptom. It can be accompanied by vomiting, a decrease in vision, and limb, or facial weakness. Some patients may have a seizure (fit, epilepsy) or sudden unconsciousness as the first symptom. Symptoms vary with the type, size, and location of the tumour.
5. What to do if we have these symptoms?
Even minor symptoms should not be neglected, a neurosurgeon or family doctor should be consulted.
6. How do we detect Brain tumours?
A good clinical examination and investigations like MRI brain, CT scan, PET scan, hormone evaluation, angiography, MR spectroscopy, hearing and eye checkup may be required.
7. What are the treatment options for brain tumours?
Most brain tumors require surgery for a biopsy and to reduce the mass effect. A total excision of the tumor provides the best cure for benign tumors and the maximum possible safe excision is required for malignant tumors.
8. What goes into performing safe surgery?
Lots of gadgets are used to touch or enter the brain guided by preoperative and intra-operative CT scans or MRI Neuro-navigation or ultrasound are used to localize tumours. Neutron-monitoring or awake craniotomy prevents injury to vital structures. The use of high-quality gadgets like CUSA makes brain surgery safe and fast. Better results are achieved by an experienced neurosurgeon and his expertise to use these grades.
9. What are the side effects of brain surgery?
If the preoperative planning is good and the brain is handled delicately during surgery, then there are no side effects. The tumor located within the vital areas of the brain or a large malignant tumor may lead to the deficits which are temporary and improve with rehabilitation.
10. Is a brain tumor preventable?
No, having a brain tumor is just bad luck. But modern neurosurgery now offers a cure in most cases.