The percentage of people living with OGM is quite high. Not everyone knows what are the main symptoms in the early stages of the disease. Unfortunately, it is possible to diagnose GM cancer in most cases only at the last stages, when the chances of survival are negligible, and some species are generally identified only posthumously, due to rapid development. It is vitally important to identify the tumor at an early stage.
Reasons for the development of oncology
A brain tumor occurs due to changes in the DNA of healthy cells that begin uncontrolled division. The very causes of this phenomenon have been little studied, and scientists can only make assumptions about this.
Only a few reasons were clearly identified:
- Heredity (people with a family history of cancer are at risk, but that doesn’t mean they will get sick)
- radiation (this fact was proved after the Chernobyl explosion, when many people were injured),
- work with chemicals
- head injuries (concussion, hemorrhage can trigger a neoplasm),
- severe diseases associated with a disorder of the immune system (AIDS, autoimmune diseases, meningitis, etc.),
- unsuccessful organ transplant operations,
- prolonged use of certain groups of drugs,
- deviations in the development of the central nervous system, brain cells at the stage of development of the embryo.
Prolonged stress can provoke the appearance of a tumor body. Its first consequence is tension headaches, which are provoked by the deterioration of blood flow, the death of neurons. Another reason is the lack of vitamins in the body and bad habits (alcoholism, smoking, drug addiction).
Some believe that the cause of the ailment may be the frequent use of a mobile phone, but this fact has not been proved by scientists.
What is the difference between benign and malignant
Benign OHM is the first cause of cancer. Although the cells divide very slowly, the tumor body can cause significant damage to neighboring tissues during proliferation. In malignant neoplasms, the tumor body metastasizes to neighboring tissues, which provokes the formation of several foci.
A malignant neoplasm can develop independently or arise as a result of the penetration of malignant cells from other organs with a blood stream. It is almost impossible to predict the rate of development of the pathology, therefore, when a growth is detected, emergency treatment is necessary even if the patient does not bother anything.
The clinical picture of benign education
At the initial stage, pathological cells differ little from healthy ones, which makes diagnosis difficult. The main danger of late diagnosis of a benign neoplasm is a high probability of degeneration into a malignant one. Initial signs of a neoplasm:
- lack of appetite,
- impaired hearing, speech, vision,
- poor coordination of movements
- inability to concentrate for a long time.
The presence of a benign education may not bring discomfort to the patient at all, until it reaches a large size and begins to put pressure on the brain centers, causing unpleasant manifestations.
Cells multiply much faster during this period and metastasize into neighboring tissues. The tumor body has fuzzy outlines. Tissues are damaged, multiple intracranial hemorrhages appear.The fastest developing glioblastoma is 4 stages. In most cases, already at stage 3 it is impossible to predict the speed of the disease.
Symptoms of a brain tumor in the early stages may go unnoticed, because myalgia (headache) can be a harbinger of any disease and appear for a variety of reasons. In the early stages, migraines are regular, periodically may not stop for 72 hours. Pain often occurs in the morning and disappears when a person takes an upright position.
This is provoked by stagnation of fluid in the skull. The neoplasm provokes a violation of blood circulation, which, in fact, is the reason for the accumulation of fluid, it simply does not have time to leave on time. During sleep, OGM is in the same position and does not bother the patient, and when he rolls over, the tumor body also changes position, pressing certain nerve endings, which causes pain.
With a tumor of the brain, dizziness, spatial disorientation, tinnitus, convulsions, loss of consciousness are observed. Such deviations can occur against the background of perfect health.
How to detect cancer in the initial phase of development
Everyone needs to know how to recognize brain cancer in order to be able to treat on time and save their lives. The first signs of an early brain tumor are headaches. This symptom will be present throughout the entire cycle of the development of the disease, only the intensity of the manifestation will change. A distinctive feature of myalgia in oncology is that it cannot be relieved with the help of drugs. In the early stages of the disease, vomiting occurs along with migraine, which does not lead to relief.
The first symptoms of the destructive influence of pathological cells are dizziness and a disorder of coordination of movements. In addition, there is a decrease in body mass index. The first signs of a brain tumor are a loss of 10 to 20 kg per year, against the background of constant myalgia, depression, dizziness. The initial stage is characterized by the presence of chronic fatigue syndrome, an unreasonable increase in body temperature, nervousness, and the occurrence of phobic disorders. All these manifestations should be an occasion to immediately consult a doctor and be sure to undergo an examination.
The first signs in the early phase of the disease
A brain tumor can be successfully cured only if detected at an early stage, so it is so important to learn to recognize the first signs of a brain tumor in adults and children.
Symptoms in the early stages that should alert:
- Paralysis, numbness of certain parts of the body,
- pains in the back of the head, temples, crown, appearing regularly,
- periodic hearing loss, decreased visual acuity,
- loss of consciousness,
- poor coordination of movements.
The onset of the disease is a period of compensation. At this stage, the growth is very small and does not cause discomfort to a person, it cannot affect intracranial pressure and does not affect the structure of gray matter. Its detection can only be accidental during an MRI.
Cancers can manifest themselves with irritability, depression, which does not cause any suspicions and attachments to oncology. If at the first stage the disease was ignored or not noticed, the cells begin to develop, a large tumor body is formed. In the gray matter, new vessels are formed to maintain the vital activity of the additional structure.
How to check for a brain tumor
If there are doubts or any of the above symptoms, it is worth signing up for a diagnosis: MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) of the brain, or less reliable but also good CT (computed tomography) of the brain. A painless diagnosis on time can save your life.
Species of tumors and the main manifestations of the problem
To understand how the first symptoms of the disease manifest, you need to know what brain tumors are. They are divided into:
Primary, which originate directly in the tissues. Depending on which cells they mutate from, primary tumors are divided into:
- glioma is formed from the building material of the connective tissue of the brain. They make up 40-45% of the revealed brain formations in adults. In the early stages, it is successfully treated. In more advanced stages, a brain stem tumor develops from glial cells.
- astrocytomas - from star-shaped cells, manifests itself in the form of convulsions, fainting, headaches, pressure surges,
- ependymoma - a benign formation, a tumor develops from the cells lining the bottom of the ventricles). It provokes hydrocephalus, a violation of the outflow of cerebrospinal fluid.
- oligodendroglioma - nucleates in cells of the same name. A grade 3 tumor degenerates into glioblastoma. It is localized in the parietal and frontal lobe of the brain, detected in young men under 40 years old and children.
- medulloblastoma - cerebellar cancer. It is formed in boys and quickly affects both hemispheres. A cerebellar tumor is practically not cured.
- pituitary adenoma (6-8% of dogs) - a benign neoplasm of the pituitary glandular tissue. It manifests itself in hormonal disorders.
- schwannoma - a benign neoplasm of the nerve membranes. It manifests itself in hearing impairment, tinnitus.
- meningioma - localized in the hard shell. The tumor size reaches 6 cm. Often found in women. They make up 18-20% of all tumors.
People who are faced with a problem think about why a tumor appears. This is mainly a hereditary factor, a genetic mutation. Living and working conditions also affect craniocerebral injuries. There is a neoplasm of the brain whose causes are inexplicable.
Symptoms of tumors at each stage
The stage of the tumor depends not only on the size of the formation, but also on the aggressiveness of the cells and their ability to infiltrate. Tumors of the brain and spinal cord go through 4 stages in their development:
At the 1st stage, the patient practically does not feel any deterioration in health. Symptoms of a brain tumor in the early stages do not cause anxiety in humans. If he led an active lifestyle, worked hard, was in constant stress, then he can attribute the symptoms of the disease to the usual manifestations of fatigue. Already at this stage, malignant cells begin to multiply, disrupting the circulatory system of the intracranial box. A brain tumor appears stagnation of cerebrospinal fluid, cerebrospinal fluid, tissue swelling, which causes specific headaches. Taking pills does not bring relief. An ultrasound of the vessels of the head indicates a partial deformation of the walls due to damage by the decay products of atypical cells. The size of the tumor at stage 1 does not exceed 10 mm.
Rarely, someone at the 1st stage of a brain tumor immediately consults a doctor. Frenzied rhythm of life, fitness, stressful situations at work, alcohol, change of weather - the symptoms of a brain tumor are similar to the manifestation of vegetative-vascular dystonia, which occurs in 80 out of 100 inhabitants of the planet Earth. The 1st stage proceeds almost asymptomatically, and any manifestations become noticeable only when violations of the outflow of livcor come to light, and secondary hydrocephalus appears. For this reason, the diagnosis of a brain tumor at an early stage is very difficult. Sometimes brain cancer after a skull injury develops rapidly, and in a couple of months goes into the 2nd degree. How quickly this will happen is not known. The brain tumor is most effectively detected on an MRI scan - an organ study using magnetic waves. After surgery, the patient lives more than 10 years.If you do not remove the neoplasm, how many live with it and how it will affect the quality of life is difficult to say. Definitely 1 degree of neoplasm is operable, and the elimination of the problem leads to a complete recovery of the patient.
2 stage. Brain cancer manifests itself in the defeat of more extensive areas, which put pressure on the surrounding tissue. Irritating areas of the head that activate the gag reflex
The first signs of a brain tumor in adults are noticeable precisely with stage 2 brain pathology. Edema occurs, cerebral circulation is disturbed, intracranial pressure increases. Headaches become "wandering", appearing in one or another place in the head. This is due to the fact that pain occurs both at the site of the tumor and as a result of increased intracranial pressure. Considering that in the frontal lobe of the brain there are "mute zones" in which there is no pain during compression of the tissues, in 35% of cases the patient is only worried about bursting headaches in the morning. There are many nerve receptors inside the cranium, so painful sensations sometimes are in no way connected with the focus of the neoplasm.
In about a year, a tumor of the 3rd ventricle of the brain passes from the 1st to the 2nd stage. This pathology is rare, only 1.5-1.8% of all brain cancer pathologies, and mainly in children and adolescents. Headache, which is a cerebral sign of neoplasms, is accompanied by vomiting, although this is not connected with food intake and poisoning. It is enough for a person to turn his head, sneeze, laugh, so that a sharp pain pierced his head. But with a change in body position, she also unexpectedly leaves. With ultrasound, vascular changes caused by increased cranial pressure will become noticeable.
Brain tumor symptoms in the early stages (in particular, at the 2nd) according to statistics, manifests itself as follows:
- 58% epileptic seizures
- 90% headache
- 65% vomiting
- 75-81% congestive optic discs are observed
- 60-90% of mental disorders in people over 65
Congestive disks (nipples) of the optic nerves ── this is a non-inflammatory swelling of the optic nerve. It occurs in 75-81% of cases of brain tumors. The reason is the increase in intracranial pressure (this is seen with ultrasound). First of all, it is necessary to eliminate the root cause itself, namely, the neoplasm. But even after its removal, the diameter of the disk remains increased. If nothing is done, the optic nerve will atrophy, and vision loss will occur.
In a patient with a brain tumor of the 2nd degree, vision deteriorates, a spot swells in front of the eyes. Sometimes sharp bouts of pain in the head are accompanied by short-term blindness. This is caused by spasms of the vessels that feed the optic nerve. Over time, visual acuity decreases. People with a tumor of middle and old age attribute the pathology to age-related glaucoma or cataract and also delay the visit to the doctor. That is why, during the medical examination in an adult population over 40 years of age, the fundus is mandatory examined. So reveal atrophy of the optic nerves caused by neoplasm.
A brain tumor of the 4th ventricle manifests itself with similar symptoms. The patient complains of flickering before the eyes, severe dizziness and loss of balance, especially during sudden movements (getting out of bed, turning the head). This phenomenon is characteristic in 45% of cases.
A brain stem tumor reveals a bulbar syndrome: saliva from the mouth, inability to swallow food, nasal speech. The mouth is distorted as in a stroke, the eye twitches.
The patient has seizures, and in some cases, epileptic seizures occur. Not to notice this is not possible, especially if nothing like this has been observed before. Seizures were seen in 30% of patients with a grade 2 tumor.
Epilepsy occurs in 50% of children, in the age group of 30-40 years old - 34.6%, 40-50 years old - 38.2%, people over 50 years old, as well as young people from 14 to 31 years old - only 22%. In pituitary tumors, 11% of patients are affected by epileptic seizures, regardless of age. Another important feature: the faster the neoplasm grows, the less often attacks, and vice versa.
Another effective method for diagnosing a brain tumor of the 2nd degree is the collection of cerebrospinal fluid. The analysis will show an increase in the amount of albumin, the protein responsible for blood coagulation. The size of the tumor is from 10 to 100 mm.
3rd stage. Most patients go to the doctor at this stage, because it is simply impossible to ignore the symptoms. How to treat a brain tumor, relatives of those who are experiencing a terrible ailment are wondering. Additional signs and symptoms are added to existing problems:
- horizontal nystagmus is an involuntary wandering of the eyes from side to side. The direction of the gaze changes the trajectory regardless of the person’s desire. Neurology at stages 3-4 is most affected.
- transient mental disorders: auditory, visual and olfactory hallucinations. Patients feel unpleasant odors (molten plastic, putrefactive odors), this indicates the location of the tumor in the 3rd ventricle. A patient with a brain tumor is poorly oriented in time, cannot understand where he is, does not evaluate his condition.
- speech impairment. This is manifested in a tumor of the left frontal lobe, which is responsible for speech.
- behavioral changes. The patient goes in cycles in a certain action, he does the dishes several times a day, turns the light on and off.
- mental disorders, unbridled, provocative behavior. A tumor of the frontal lobe, the consequences of which are manifested specifically in senile age. In old age, interest in sex suddenly rises, the patient begins to watch porn movies, walk naked. This is not a strange behavior, in this case there are signs of a brain tumor on the face.
Can a brain tumor be cured at this stage? Hardly ever. How many people live after brain surgery can be said only approximately, this figure does not exceed 2 years. Some patients can take this for granted, some begin a tough fight. Contraindications to brain surgery are the consequences of surgery.
4th stage. The prognosis for the patient is not favorable. You can live with a brain tumor at this stage for no more than a month. It is difficult to say how many people live in stage 4 cancer, but most often they die within 1 year, even after radiation therapy. Is a brain tumor treated in grade 4? No, the patient is only prolonged life for days. Which treatment method to choose for a terminally ill patient is decided by an oncologist. Radiation therapy for a brain tumor will stop the growth of cells, but will not eliminate the tumor.
Oncology is a scourge of the 21st century. Despite the greatest achievements in all fields of science, cancer has still not been defeated. The causes of brain tumors in adults are difficult to identify. It is hoped that the recognized problem in time will be eliminated as painlessly as possible for the patient.
The risk of getting a malignant neoplasm in the brain increases in:
- Representatives of the male bol.
- Small patients under 8 years of age.
- Persons after 65 years.
- Those who sleep with a mobile phone near their heads.
- The liquidators of the tragedy at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
- Patients surviving an internal organ transplant.
- Undergoing chemotherapy as a method of treating a tumor, regardless of its location.
Symptoms in adults
Determining a tumor in adult women is quite difficult, especially at stage 1.The symptomatic picture is very similar to pregnancy, menopause, hormonal imbalance, etc. For example, weight loss and vomiting can easily be mistaken for a violation in the digestive tract after a rigid diet. Symptoms of a female brain tumor at the stage of subcompensation. Manifestations can be very diverse and do not differ in specificity. Detecting cancer will be much easier if there is a pronounced neurological clinic:
- numbness and weakness in the limbs,
- sleep disorder
- uncontrollable anger, mood swings.
In men, GM cancer is diagnosed much more often. Symptoms of a brain tumor in an adult male are often attributed to chronic lack of sleep, hard physical work and constant stress. In addition, many symptoms of cancer are similar to the clinic of vegetovascular dystonia, for example, an increase in body temperature from 37 to 37, 4 may well be a sign of this dysfunction.
Symptoms in children and adolescents
Brain cancer in childhood is far from uncommon. The first symptoms in children are similar to an adult clinic - prolonged headaches, vomiting, lethargy. But there are also special signs of the appearance of neoplasms in the children's brain:
- Inhibition of psychomotor development,
- growth retardation
- poor coordination
- paralysis of ocular nerve endings.
The most common symptom is a change in the fundus. Visually, this is manifested by hemorrhages on the retina, edema. This symptom can lead to complete blindness. In young patients, there is a strong pallor of the skin, bags under the eyes. Seizures occur in the initial stages extremely rarely, most often, they occur when the tumor body has reached a fairly large size and metastasized to other tissues.
All these symptoms in a child are a serious reason for a detailed examination of the whole organism. It is important to remember that the detection of OHM at an early stage can give the baby a chance for a long happy life.
If you have at least a few of the above signs, you need to see a doctor. At this stage, the diagnosis includes a set of measures to identify localization, the degree of development. First of all, you should take blood tests, urine tests, take an x-ray.
In addition to radiography, you can do an MRI, CT. These methods allow you to detect the tumor body and understand where it is located, whether it can be removed. Benign or malignant OHM can be determined only by biopsy or by taking a puncture of the cerebrospinal fluid.
Therapy will depend on how the disease manifests itself, the stage of development of the neoplasm and the location. The most effective treatment method to date is surgical removal. But, it is not always possible to remove the neoplasm, even at the initial stages. When localizing the formation in vital areas, use a gamma knife or cyber knife. The methods are based on irradiation of the affected area with gamma rays.
Also, if it is not possible to perform a surgical operation, cryo-freezing is practiced. The growth is frozen and carefully removed from the skull.
If cancer is detected in the early stages, the prognosis is favorable, but provided that the tumor is not in a vital area. On average, patients after surgery can live 5 years. This figure is not a limiter. After successful surgery, many patients live more than 20 years.
If stages 3-4 are detected, the survival rate is very low. Treatment in such cases is aimed at improving the quality of life. Patients with this diagnosis live, on average, no more than 1 year.Even at stage 2 of the cancer, it is very rarely possible to completely remove the formation because the carcinomas have already spread to other tissues, and it is rather difficult to say how the disease will proceed.
Anyone should know what symptoms accompany such a terrible ailment as OGM. High public awareness of these issues contributes to lower mortality among patients. Unfortunately, in our country MRI is not provided for in the annual physical examination, therefore, most often, patients will learn about the disease already at the last stages, because the clinic is mainly charged for lack of sleep, fatigue and a busy rhythm of life. Frequent headaches that cannot be removed with pills are the first alarm bell.
Types of Brain Cancer
What is brain cancer? This concept implies the collective name of all malignant tumors in an organ that have a discirculatory nature. The classification of this ailment is quite extensive.
Based on the location of the neoplasm and its estimated histological composition, distinguish:
Neurinoma is a derivative of cranial nerve cells, sarcomas develop from connective tissue cells, meningioma from the structures of the meninges, gliomas from auxiliary cells, adenoma from gland tissues.
General Description of Brain Cancer
Tumors of the central organ of the central nervous system comprise from 6 to 8.6% of the total number of human neoplasms. In ICD-10, they are assigned the code (C71) "Malignant neoplasm of the brain."
To systematize the data and for research purposes in the diagnostic process, it is determined why the tumor appeared. Based on this, experts distinguish:
- Hormone-dependent tumors. Most often found in women taking hormonal drugs for a long time. One of the risk factors for developing brain cancer is hormonal disruption in the body due to increased secretion of sex hormones.
- Neoplasms that appear due to chemical or radiation exposure on the body.
- Neoplasms of a traumatic nature.
- Congenital tumors resulting from abnormal development of the central nervous system during fetal formation.
- The defeat of the body by viral infections (HIV, HPV).
- Inherited tumors.
Depending on the location of the cancer, there are:
- Intracerebral neoplasms, that is, located in the thickness of the white matter,
- Extra cerebral - an accumulation of atypical cells is located on the periphery of the brain, on its membranes, cranial nerves,
- Intraventricular tumors - the zone of change in the substance of the brain is located in the ventricles of the organ.
Depending on the spread of the tumor in the substance of the brain and its interaction with the surrounding tissues, tumors show:
- Expansive growth - a tumor forms on its own, spreads the surrounding organ structures, a pseudocapsule forms at the site of contact of the neoplasm with brain tissue,
- Infiltrating growth - cancer cells grow into surrounding tissues, destroy them,
- Appositional growth - the appearance of a neoplasm leads to the degeneration of surrounding cells into atypical ones.
Classification of brain tumors according to Smirnov. It is based on the division of neoplasms into several species, depending on the maturity of atypical cells and their morphological characteristics.
Based on this, cancerous tumors are:
In addition to the degree of maturity, this classification is based on morphological characters, and also includes the separation of neoplasms according to the location and their histological composition.
Neoplasms can form independently from atypical cells of the central nervous system structures or be metastasis, that is, a secondary focus of another tumor in the body.
- Primary. Develop from mutated cells of the central nervous system.Any tissues of the head and brain are subject to change: skull bones, nerve fibers, blood vessels, white or gray matter. Primary tumors are divided into 2 large subgroups: gliomas and non-gliomas.
- Secondary Appear as a result of metastasis of another primary tumor. The movement of mutated cells occurs through the circulatory or lymphatic system. This proliferation of tumors is characteristic of malignant tumors. Symptoms of the appearance of metastases in the brain are identical to the manifestations of primary neoplasms.
Primary malignant formations of the brain:
- Astrocytoma. Formed from mutated auxiliary cells of the central nervous system - astrocyte. This type of cancer is more common in men.
- Oligodendroglioma. Refers to rare malignant neoplasms. The reason for its development is a mutation of neuroglia cells - oligodendrocytes.
- Mixed gliomas. It refers to the most common brain tumors. In this case, it is formed by altered oligodendrocytes and astrocytes.
- CNS lymphomas. It develops as a result of the degeneration of cells of the structures of the lymphatic system inside the cranium. According to studies, this type of cancer develops in people with a weak immune system.
- Pituitary adenomas. This type of tumor rarely degenerates into a malignant neoplasm. Hormonal disruptions in the body become a provoking factor in their development: in case of thyroid gland malfunction, prolonged use of oral contraceptives, etc.
- Meningiomas Formed from atypical cells of the lining of the brain.
- Ependymoma. This type of tumor is formed from mutated cells of the tissues of the ventricles, namely from the inner membrane - ependyma. Ependymomas are highly differentiated, moderately differentiated and anaplastic, that is, prone to rapid growth and metastasis to other organs.
Based on the degree of damage to the brain substance and the appearance in it of changes in a circulatory nature, 4 stages of the disease are distinguished:
- The neoplasm grows slowly, its cells are not aggressive towards surrounding tissues. Diagnosis of the pathology is difficult due to the fact that the manifestations of the pathology are poorly expressed or completely absent.
- The tumor grows slowly; over time, the surrounding structures degrade. When examining an organ, signs of dysfunction of nearby tissues, lymph nodes, and blood vessels are noted.
- The neoplasm is aggressive, showing rapid growth. Symptoms of the pathology are obvious: severe headaches, nausea, dizziness, hyperthermia are noted. Depending on the location of the tumor, brain functions suffer: coordination of movements is impaired, vision and hearing are impaired. There are cutting mood swings. At this stage of the disease, the tumor is difficult to treat, the prognosis is generally unfavorable.
- Symptoms of pathology are pronounced, poorly amenable to relief. The patient has hallucinations, frequent fainting, epileptic seizures. There is a violation of the work of almost all body systems in connection with the appearance of mestastases in other organs: liver, lungs. Brain cancer of the 4th degree is incurable, therapy is aimed at eliminating the main manifestations of the disease.
Signs of Brain Cancer
Symptoms depend on the location of the cancer and the involvement of surrounding tissues in the pathological process.
The most characteristic manifestations of pathology are:
- Headache of varying severity. At the initial stage of the disease, this symptom may periodically appear, be mild and disappear quickly after taking the usual painkillers. At stage III and IV, there is a strong obsessive headache that does not go away after taking medication.
- Dizziness is also a frequent companion to brain cancer. Usually accompanied by a headache.The appearance of this symptom of pathology indicates cerebellar dysfunction, overlapping or crushing by the tumor of blood vessels and cerebrospinal fluid paths: this leads to impaired circulation of the cerebrospinal fluid, increased intracranial pressure. At the last stages of the disease, severe dizziness is noted until loss of consciousness, hallucinations occur, perception of reality is disturbed.
- Decreased visual acuity, the presence of visual abnormalities: a disorder of spatial perception, a split image, the presence of "flies" in front of the eyes. At the initial stages of the pathology, they occur periodically, but with the growth of the tumor, they intensify and appear much more often.
- Change in body weight. It is caused by a violation of metabolic processes in the body and poisoning by the products of cancer cell metabolism. There may be a rapid increase in body weight, or vice versa - a sharp decrease.
- Nausea, vomiting. These signs of brain cancer accompany dizziness. Thus, the body signals acute poisoning by decay products of cancer cells, increased intracranial pressure. The appearance of these symptoms usually occurs in the morning, but with the development of pathology can occur at any time of the day, regardless of the time of eating.
- Fatigue. It is noted at any stage of the disease. This manifestation of the pathology is due to the fact that cancer cells poison the body, all metabolic processes are disrupted.
- An increase in intracranial pressure is a characteristic sign of compression of the brain. A growing tumor displaces surrounding structures and interferes with the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid.
- Hyperthermia. Even in a healthy person throughout life, mutant cells appear in the body, but they are successfully destroyed by the immune system. Violation of this process leads to the appearance of a cancerous tumor. Despite the obvious dysfunction of the body’s defense mechanisms, the immune system subsequently still recognizes the tumor as a foreign structure and throws all its forces into the fight against it. One of the manifestations of cancer is an increase in body temperature.
- With damage to the cerebellum, motor coordination and fine motor skills suffer.
Any CNS tumors are characterized by the appearance of focal and cerebral symptoms of the lesion. Cerebral signs of cerebral dysfunction are inherent in any CNS tumors, while focal ones depend on the location of the cancer and the area of the brain for which it is responsible.
Focal symptoms of brain damage:
- Violation of the motor functions of one or more limbs, loss of sensitivity in some parts of the body, numbness, improper perception of ambient temperature and other external factors.
- Behavioral changes, frequent mood swings, aggression or vice versa, excessive apathy, lack of initiative. The patient does not correctly evaluate reality, which leads to an inadequate reaction on his part, performs impulsive acts that do not lend themselves to logic.
- Loss of control over the work of some organs, difficulty urinating.
- Change in handwriting, diction, violation of fine motor skills.
- Decrease in mental abilities, decrease in intelligence.
Due to the fact that the emerging and growing tumor constricts the brain, the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid along the cerebrospinal fluid paths is disturbed, its congestion in the ventricles is formed. This leads to increased intracranial pressure and excessive pressure on the functional centers of the body.
- Dizziness, impaired coordination of movements, a change in the sensory perception of the position of the body in space.
- Periodic bouts of headache in the morning. This symptom can intensify during psycho-emotional stress, in stressful situations, physical exertion.
- Nausea, vomiting, independent of the time of eating.Most often occurs in the morning with dizziness and headache. Vomiting is dangerous because there is a risk of dehydration. With the frequent appearance of this symptom of pathology, the patient is prescribed drugs that block the work of the corresponding cents in the central nervous system.
Some symptoms of brain cancer are added in the last stages of the disease. These include:
- Deterioration of the clarity of vision and hearing up to their complete loss, visual deviations: “flies” or “stars” in front of the eyes, discomfort when moving the eyeball, pressing sensations on the organ. This symptom appears due to the pressure of the neoplasm on the optic and auditory nerve.
- The development of epilepsy. Seizures occur spontaneously and can be dangerous in the absence of assistance. The fact is that at this moment the brain ceases to control the work of the whole body and the patient can cripple himself or choke. This symptom appears in the later stages of the disease.
- Impaired hormone secretion. Usually found in adenomas of brain structures: pineal, pituitary gland. These tumors are able to independently synthesize hormones, causing them to excess in the body.
- The appearance of a cancerous tumor in the trunk or increased pressure on it leads to dysfunction of this important part of the brain. The fact is that the trunk is responsible for the work of all vital systems of the body (circulatory, respiration, body thermoregulation, sensory perception) and the implementation of basic reflex processes.
- Neoplasms in the temporal region lead to the appearance of auditory and visual hallucinations, in the occipital zone - to a violation of color perception.
Brain cancer in the early stages rarely gives vivid symptoms, therefore, people at risk are recommended to undergo regular examinations and are attentive to any changes in health.
Causes of Brain Cancer
The etiology of cancer is poorly understood. However, there are a number of indirect factors contributing to the development of pathology in adults and children:
- Heredity. According to studies, some types of tumors can be inherited. Therefore, people who have been diagnosed with brain cancer in their closest blood relationship are advised to undergo routine examinations to identify this terrible disease.
- Disruption of the endocrine system. Frequent hormonal disruptions, malfunctioning of the thyroid gland, uncontrolled and self-administration of hormonal contraceptives can lead to the development of cancer.
- Exposure to ionizing radiation. Any types of radiation can change the structure of living cells and serve as an impetus for their transformation into malignant.
- Poisoning by chemical compounds and heavy metals: mercury, lead, arsenic, vinyl chloride. Some trace elements can accumulate in the body for years. Their presence has a negative effect on metabolic processes, and provoke incomplete elimination of decay products. The poisoned organism subsequently becomes unable to adequately respond to the appearance of mutant cells and cannot cope with the destruction. This leads to the appearance of neoplasms of various nature, including malignant.
- Poisoning of the body by alcohol, tobacco smoke. Resins and substances contained in these products are able to activate cell mutation in the body. This provokes the development of various oncological diseases.
- Severe disruption of the name system of the body due to infection with HIV, HPV oncogenic type.
- An important role in the occurrence of cancer is the psychosomatics of the disease.
The following groups of citizens are at risk for developing brain cancer:
- Men who regularly drink alcohol, smoke,
- People over 65
- NPP accident liquidators,
- People who underwent transplantation of internal organs,
- Treatment of other tumors of the body with chemo and radiation therapy,
- People living in areas of high electromagnetic radiation,
- The use of products processed with a large number of pesticides and fertilizers.
The presence of other cancers in the body can be the cause of the appearance of CNS tumors. For example, metastases of melanoma can move to the brain and form a secondary focus there.
How to recognize brain cancer necessary diagnostic procedures
At the first signs of the development of brain pathology, you need to contact specialists. They will prescribe the necessary diagnostic procedures, after which the suspicions will be confirmed or refuted.
Do not do this yourself and even more so try to be treated with folk remedies. This can lead to an aggravation of the patient’s condition and death. Cancer is a serious disease for which there is still no cure.
The prognosis depends on how quickly brain cancer is diagnosed and treatment is started. As is known, tumors of the I and II degrees respond well to therapy, and the disease after the prescribed procedures goes into remission. Unfortunately, late stage brain cancer is not treated, in which case, experts prescribe drugs that block the symptoms associated with the disease.
Diagnosis of brain cancer includes the following non-invasive measures:
- CT They reveal the exact location, approximate composition of the neoplasm, involvement in the pathological process of surrounding tissues, size and type of tumor. Despite the rather high accuracy (allows you to visualize neoplasms 2-3 mm), computed tomography is usually used in the diagnosis of craniocerebral injuries, diseases of the bones of the head and other solid structures. This is due to the fact that the x-ray radiation used in this diagnostic method, in combination with a contrast medium, reacts most effectively to dense structures. Therefore, preference should still be given to the MRI procedure.
- MRI of the brain. This research method is most informative in diagnosing diseases of the soft tissues and vessels of the head. In combination with the injection of a contrast medium, it allows you to get the most accurate picture of the state of the central nervous system structures, blood supply, the presence or absence of neoplasms, their size, density (i.e. approximate composition), the degree of spread and the effect of pathology on surrounding tissues.
After undergoing the basic procedure for identifying a tumor, additional studies are performed to clarify the diagnosis:
- PET (positron emission tomography). Used to clarify the diagnosis after MRI or CT.
- SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography). Allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of cancer treatment by detecting the activity of atypical cells. It can be used after CT or MRI to determine the degree of malignancy of the tumor.
- MEG (magnetoencephalography). Using this procedure, doctors evaluate the functioning of the brain.
- Lumbar puncture. This procedure refers to invasive diagnostic methods. In the process of its implementation, a specialist with a special needle takes the material (cerebrospinal fluid) for further research. Detects the presence of cancer cells in the body, is used to reduce intracranial pressure. The introduction of anticancer drugs directly under the membrane of the brain significantly increases their concentration in the focus of the cancerous tumor, which makes it possible to more actively influence atypical cells.
- Blood test for tumor markers. This narrow-field research method allows you to determine the presence of specific substances, products of tumor metabolism or substances produced by normal tissues in response to the appearance of atypical cells.In other words, the brain cancer tumor marker is a protein formed after the death of a tumor cell or as a product of its vital activity. For each type of tumor, there are specific tumor markers that can most accurately determine the type of malignant neoplasm. A blood test for cancer is most reliable for a primary brain tumor. Detection of tumor markers refers to a screening method that allows you to diagnose cancer in the early stages in people who do not complain about well-being.
- Biopsy. It is an extreme procedure for detecting a cancerous tumor, since its implementation is fraught with certain risks - taking a biopsy sample is invasive, that is, through a puncture. Experienced neurosurgeons use the following types of brain biopsies: open, stereotactic, puncture. The data obtained after examining the sample allow us to establish the necessary steps for subsequent treatment. Doctors are determined with the technique - surgical intervention, chemistry, radiation therapy, etc. Taking material helps to identify the degree of malignancy of the tumor. With atypia of brain stem tissue, a fine-needle biopsy or biopsy is performed under CT control, since classical intervention in this structure of the central nervous system is fraught with negative consequences.
- Duplex scanning of cerebral vessels. Allows you to identify any pathology of the structure of intracranial arteries and veins of the brain, including vascular tumors.
- Extracranial triplex examination of veins and arteries of the brain. It is used along with duplex scanning of GM vessels, allows you to evaluate the blood supply to the organ, to determine the likelihood of compression of the leading blood vessels by the emerging tumor.
When all diagnostic procedures are completed, specialists immediately begin treatment. The tactics of therapy are selected individually, based on the degree of malignancy of the neoplasm, its size and interaction with surrounding tissues.
The newest method for diagnosing neuro-tumors is the study of cerebrospinal fluid for the presence of micro-RNA in it. This allows you to get the most reliable results of the development of a deadly neoplasm in the brain - glioblastoma.
Stages of the development of pathology
The initial stage of development of brain cancer does not have specific symptoms and signs of the disease, which makes diagnosis difficult. This is a dangerous disease - it is quite difficult to understand at what point the tumor became aggressive.
In most cases, cancer of the head and neck is a blow to both the patient and his environment. But do not despair: the treatment started on time and the implementation of all the recommendations of specialists will lead to recovery.
Key Information About Brain Tumors
A brain tumor is any tumor located inside the skull. This type of cancer process makes up 1.5% of all known tumors in medicine. They are found at any age, regardless of gender. Brain tumors can be benign or malignant. They are also divided into:
- primary tumors (formed from nerve cells, meninges, cranial nerves). The incidence of primary tumors in Russia is 12-14 cases per 100,000 population per year,
- secondary, or metastatic (these are the results of "infection" of the brain with tumors of another location through the blood). Secondary brain tumors are more common than primary ones: according to some data, the incidence rate is 30 cases per 100,000 population per year. These tumors are malignant.
According to the histological type, there are more than 120 types of tumors. Each type has its own characteristics not only of the structure, but also of the speed of development, location.However, all brain tumors of any kind are united by the fact that they are all “plus” tissue inside the skull, that is, they grow in a limited space, squeezing adjacent structures. It is this fact that allows us to combine the symptoms of various tumors into a single group.
Signs of a brain tumor
All symptoms of a brain tumor are usually divided into three varieties:
- local, or local: occur at the site of the tumor. This is the result of tissue compression. Sometimes they are also called primary,
- distant, or dislocation: develop as a result of edema, displacement of brain tissue, circulatory disorders. That is, they become a manifestation of the pathology of brain regions located far from the tumor. They are also called secondary, because for their occurrence it is necessary that the tumor grows to a certain size, which means that at first, the primary symptoms will exist in isolation for some time,
- cerebral symptoms: a consequence of increased intracranial pressure due to tumor growth.
Primary and secondary symptoms are considered focal, which reflects their morphological nature. Since each part of the brain has a specific function, the “problems” in this area (focus) manifest themselves as specific symptoms. Focal and cerebral symptoms separately do not indicate the presence of a brain tumor, but if they exist in combination, they become a diagnostic criterion for the pathological process.
Some symptoms can be attributed to both focal and cerebral (for example, a headache as a result of irritation of the brain membrane by a tumor at its location is a focal symptom, and as a result of increased intracranial pressure, it is a cerebral one).
It is difficult to say exactly which symptoms will occur first, because the location of the tumor affects this. In the brain there are so-called “silent” zones, the compression of which does not manifest itself clinically for a long time, which means that focal symptoms do not occur first, giving way to the cerebral palm.
Stage I brain cancer
At the initial stage of the disease, a small number of mutated CNS cells are noted. Treatment proceeds successfully with a minimal likelihood of relapse. Therapy consists of surgical removal of the neoplasm and further medication support.
How to detect brain cancer at an early stage? The main thing to monitor your well-being - manifestations of pathology during this period is difficult to notice. Characteristic signs of brain cancer are weakness, drowsiness, periodic headaches and short-term dizziness in the morning.
Of course, these symptoms can appear due to other diseases, so they are rarely paid attention to, attributing them to fatigue from physical and mental stress, a change in climate, weather conditions, or the manifestation of chronic diseases.
Headache is perhaps the most common of cerebral symptoms. And in 35% of cases, it is generally the first sign of a growing tumor.
Headache is bursting, pressing from the inside out. There is a feeling of pressure on the eyes. The pain is diffuse, without any clear localization. If a headache acts as a focal symptom, that is, it occurs as a result of local irritation of pain receptors of the brain membrane by a tumor, then it can be purely local in nature.
At first, the headache can be periodic, but then it becomes constant and persistent, completely resistant to any pain medication. In the morning hours, the intensity of the headache can be even higher than during the day or evening. This is easily explained. Indeed, in the horizontal position in which a person spends a dream, the outflow of cerebrospinal fluid and blood from the skull is difficult. And in the presence of a brain tumor, it is doubly difficult.After a person spends some time in an upright position, the outflow of cerebrospinal fluid and blood improves, intracranial pressure decreases, and the headache decreases.
Nausea and vomiting are also cerebral symptoms. They have features that distinguish them from similar symptoms in case of poisoning or diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Cerebral vomiting is not associated with food intake, does not cause relief. Often accompanies a headache in the morning (even on an empty stomach). Repeatedly repeated. In this case, abdominal pain and other dyspeptic disorders are completely absent, the appetite does not change.
Vomiting can also be a focal symptom. This happens in cases where the tumor is located in the bottom of the IV ventricle. In this case, its occurrence is associated with a change in the position of the head and can be combined with vegetative reactions in the form of sudden sweating, irregular heartbeat, changes in the rhythm of breathing, and discoloration of the skin. In some cases, even loss of consciousness may occur. With this localization, vomiting is also accompanied by persistent hiccups.
Dizziness It can also occur with an increase in intracranial pressure, when the tumor compresses blood vessels that provide blood supply to the brain. It does not have any specific signs that distinguish it from dizziness in other diseases of the brain.
Visual impairment and congestive optic nerves are almost mandatory symptoms of a brain tumor. However, they appear at the stage when the tumor has existed for quite some time and has significant dimensions (except in cases where the tumor is located in the area of the visual pathways). Changes in visual acuity are not corrected by lenses and are constantly progressing. Patients complain of fog and a veil before their eyes, often rub their eyes, trying in this way to eliminate image defects.
Mental disorders may also be the result of increased intracranial pressure. It all starts with impaired memory, attention, ability to concentrate. Patients are scattered, hovering in the clouds. Often emotionally unstable, and in the absence of a reason. Quite often, these signs are the first symptoms of a growing brain tumor. As the tumor grows and intracranial hypertension increases, inadequacy in behavior, “strange” jokes, aggressiveness, foolishness, euphoria and so on may appear.
Generalized seizures in 1/3 of patients become the first symptom of a tumor. They arise against the background of complete well-being, but tend to repeat. The appearance of generalized epileptic seizures for the first time in life (not counting people who abuse alcohol) is a formidable and very likely symptom in relation to a brain tumor.
Depending on the location in the brain where the tumor begins to develop, the following symptoms may occur:
- sensitivity disorders: it may be numbness, burning, crawling, a decrease in sensitivity in certain parts of the body, its increase (touch causes pain) or loss, inability to determine the desired position of the limb in space (with eyes closed),
- motor disorders: a decrease in muscle strength (paresis), a violation of muscle tone (usually an increase), the appearance of pathological symptoms of the Babinsky type (extension of the thumb and fan-like divergence of the remaining toes with dashed irritation of the outer edge of the foot). Motor changes can capture one limb, two on one side, or even all four. It all depends on the location of the tumor in the brain,
- impaired speech, ability to read, count and write. In the brain there are clearly localized zones responsible for these functions.If the tumor develops precisely in these areas, then the person begins to speak inarticulate, confuses the sounds and letters, does not understand the addressed speech. Of course, such symptoms do not occur at one time. Gradual tumor growth leads to the progression of these symptoms, and then speech can disappear completely,
- epileptic seizures. They can be partial and generalized (as a result of a stagnant focus of excitation in the cortex). Partial seizures are considered a focal symptom, while generalized seizures can be either a focal or cerebral symptom.
- imbalance and coordination. These symptoms accompany tumors in the cerebellum. A person's gait changes, falls may occur out of the blue. Quite often, this is accompanied by a feeling of dizziness. People in those professions where accuracy and accuracy are needed begin to notice mistakes, clumsiness, a large number of mistakes when performing familiar skills (for example, a seamstress cannot insert a thread into a needle),
- cognitive impairment. They are a focal symptom for tumors of the temporal and frontal localization. Memory, the ability to abstract thinking, logic is gradually deteriorating. The severity of individual symptoms can be different: from a little distraction to a lack of orientation in time, self and space,
- hallucinations. They can be very diverse: taste, olfactory, visual, sound. As a rule, hallucinations are short-term and stereotypical, since they reflect a specific area of brain damage,
- disorders of the cranial nerves. These symptoms occur due to compression of the nerve roots by a growing tumor. Such disorders include visual impairment (decreased severity, fog or veil before the eyes, double vision, loss of visual fields), drooping of the upper eyelid, paresis of the gaze (when it becomes impossible or sharply limited to move the eyes in different directions), pains like trigeminal neuralgia, weakness of the masticatory muscles, asymmetry of the face (distortion), taste disorder in the tongue, hearing loss or loss, impaired swallowing, changes in the timbre of the voice, slowness and disobedience of the tongue,
- autonomic disorders. They occur during compression (irritation) of the vegetative centers in the brain. More often it is paroxysmal changes in the pulse, blood pressure, respiratory rate, episodes of fever. If the tumor grows in the bottom of the IV ventricle, then such changes in combination with severe headache, dizziness, vomiting, forced head position, short-term stupefaction are called Bruns syndrome,
- hormonal disorders. They can develop with compression of the pituitary and hypothalamus, a violation of their blood supply, and may be the result of hormonally active tumors, that is, those tumors whose cells themselves produce hormones. Symptoms may include the development of obesity during a normal diet (or, on the contrary, sudden weight loss), diabetes insipidus, menstrual irregularities, impotence and spermatogenesis disorders, thyrotoxicosis and other hormonal disorders.
Of course, in a person whose tumor begins to grow, not all of these symptoms appear. Damage to various parts of the brain is characterized by certain symptoms. Below we will consider the signs of brain tumors depending on their location.
Histological, structural characteristics, and features of the course of the disease make it possible to distinguish two groups of neoplasms: benign and malignant.
Benign tumors are not capable of division, grow slowly, do not penetrate into other tissues. In their structure, they resemble those cells from which they originated, partially preserve their functions.Such tumors can be removed through surgery, and relapse is extremely rare. However, benign neoplasms in the brain are very dangerous. They lead to vascular compression, the appearance of edema, stagnation of venous blood, while their location does not always make it possible to remove them.
Malignant neoplasms consist of cells that divide very quickly. Tumors grow rapidly, forming at the same time whole foci and penetrating into neighboring tissues. Most often, malignant formations do not have clear boundaries. They are difficult to treat, including surgery, and are prone to relapse.
Stage IV Brain Cancer
Stage 4 brain cancer is currently impossible to defeat. In this case, the tumor affects the state of all brain structures and gives metastases throughout the body. The patient is provided with palliative care aimed at improving the quality of life. These are mainly strong painkillers.
The prognosis for stage 4 brain cancer is disappointing - an obvious fatal outcome. All symptoms of pathology before death are amplified. Well-being largely depends on the vitality of the body, the state of the immune system and the emotional state.
The manifestations of the disease at the last stage are associated with dysfunction of all vital systems of the body and the spread of malignant neoplasms to neighboring brain regions. The low effectiveness of treatment leads to the fact that the patient falls into a coma, from which he no longer leaves.
The location allows talking about 3 types of tumors. Intracerebral are found in the very substance of the brain. Extra cerebral appear in the membrane and nerve tissues. Intraventricular - in the cerebral ventricles.
In the diagnosis and determination of diseases according to ICD-10, diseases are also distinguished depending on the exact location of the tumor, for example, in the frontal lobes, cerebellum.
Primary neoplasms result from changes in the brain. They affect the bones of the skull, gray matter, blood vessels. Among the primary tumors, several subspecies are distinguished:
- Astrocytoma. Brain cells mutate - astrocytes. A tumor is a type of glioma, often of a benign nature.
- Medulloblastoma. It is another type of glioma. Neoplasms appear in the posterior cranial fossa, grow as a result of mutation of embryonic cells. This tumor accounts for 20% of all brain lesions. Often it occurs in children of different ages, from infants to adolescents.
- Oligodendroglioma. Oligodendrocytes undergo changes.
- Mixed gliomas. Mutation occurs in both astrocytes and oligodendrocytes. In 50% of primary tumors, this form is found.
- Meningiomas Shell cells change. More often it is benign, but it is also malignant.
- Lymphomas The disease occurs in the lymph vessels of the brain.
- Pituitary adenomas. Associated with damage to the pituitary gland, develop mainly in women. In rare cases, they can be malignant.
- Ependymoma. The cells involved in the synthesis of cerebrospinal fluid change.
Secondary neoplasms are manifested by metastases from other organs.
Surgical removal of the neoplasm is the most effective way to get rid of a tumor of any type, especially when it comes to slowly growing neoplasias. Surgical intervention in this case differs from ordinary abdominal surgery, during which the surgeon can remove the neoplasm with part of healthy tissue to prevent the pathological process - the absence of any structure leads to partial organ dysfunction.
With surgery on the brain, the surgeon should be as accurate as possible - the tumor should be completely excised.That is why carrying out surgical excision of the tumor in the last stages of cancer is inappropriate - in this case, it deeply grows into the surrounding tissue, and proceeds further.
Despite the effectiveness of surgical removal of the tumor, the operation is not enough. The patient is subsequently provided with medical support to facilitate the course of the postoperative period. It can be painkillers, drugs that reduce blood pressure and vitamin complexes.
In that case, if the tumor was malignant, then to prevent the development of a new pathological process, sessions of radio and chemotherapy are prescribed. They will help to remove all traces of the disease from the body.
Removal of a cancerous tumor at stages 1 and 2 of the disease leads to the disappearance of all symptoms of the pathological process. Therefore, timely diagnosis and the right tactics of treatment is the key to success in the treatment of brain cancer.
If the neoplasm is located in an inaccessible place, then additional data on its exact location is required before the start of the operation.
The brain is an organ whose damage always affects the patient’s condition. Therefore, specialists rarely resort to open surgery. At the moment, to remove any neoplasms in it, they resort to alternative surgical techniques, for example, stereostatic radiosurgery.
In the process of its implementation, an accurate delivery of gamma-ray or X-ray radiation in an amount sufficient to destroy the neoplasm is ensured, while the surrounding healthy tissues remain intact or with minimal damage. The possibility of using stereostatic radiosurgery depends on the size of the tumor and its location.
This tactic of excising a pathological formation is less traumatic for the patient, shortens the rehabilitation period and reduces the risk of complications.
After removal of the malignant tumor, the patient is prescribed a conservative treatment, consisting of taking certain medications:
- Anticonvulsants (reduce the incidence of symptoms of pathology in the initial stages, reduce the risk of epileptic seizures in the later stages of the disease),
- Steroidal anti-inflammatory (relieve tissue edema, have immunosuppressive, anti-shock and anti-toxic effects on the human body).
Diuretics are used to reduce intracranial pressure. In extreme cases, brain bypass surgery may be necessary - an invasive procedure that allows you to remove excess cerebrospinal fluid from its structures. This is necessary to reduce pressure on the nerve centers. The cerebrospinal fluid is removed through a catheter.
Surgical removal of a cancerous tumor can be carried out in several ways, including during endoscopic surgery. This method of treatment is less traumatic compared to classical cranioectomy (craniotomy), since it does not require opening the cranium (this additionally injures the patient and prolongs the rehabilitation time).
Access to the tumor is through a small incision into which endoscopic equipment is inserted. Thus, the risk of damage to the cranial nerves and small blood vessels is reduced, which is especially important for operations on the brain.
The disadvantage of endoscopic surgery is that in this way it is impossible to remove hard-to-reach neoplasms and large tumors. For example, pituitary adenomas are excised in this way, and access to them is through the introduction of endoscopic instruments through the nose.
Treatment with ionizing radiation is used in two cases: if the patient is contraindicated in surgery or in order to prevent the recurrence of tumor growth. Since surgical excision is not done in the last stages of cancer, then radiation therapy becomes the main treatment method.
This treatment method is associated with a number of side effects, since not only atypical cells, but also surrounding tissues die as a result of irradiation. The decay products of these structures enter the bloodstream and poison the body. Based on this, 2 groups of consequences of the use of radiation therapy can be distinguished:
- Local - radiation burns form at the site of exposure, fragility of structures increases, foci of small hemorrhages may appear,
- Systemic - are caused by the appearance of decay products of atypical and healthy cells of the body. This affects the patient's condition: weakness, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, brittle hair, baldness, and oppression of the blood formation process are observed.
Radiation therapy for brain cancer is a rather dangerous treatment method, it is carried out in several stages. This approach allows the body to accumulate strength for the further fight against the disease. The dose of ionizing radiation is selected individually, based on the degree of cancer cell malignancy, the vastness of the process, the location and size of the tumor.
At the moment, there are 2 methods of radiation therapy:
- Brachytherapy - is carried out in a hospital. A certain amount of radioactive substance is introduced into the cancerous tumor, which can destroy malignant cells. The dose is selected so that the tumor collapses from the inside, and the surrounding tissue is not affected.
- External radiation therapy. It is carried out in courses of several weeks, during which the patient is exposed to high doses of radiation. Before each session, he is dressed in special clothes, after which he is invited to the treatment room. Using immobilization devices, the radiologist places the patient on the couch of the medical linear particle accelerator in the same position that was used at the modeling stage. In this case, the doctor uses orientation marks applied to the patient’s skin or inserted into the tumor or target organ. After that, the radiologist leaves the office and remotely turns on the linear accelerator. Beams of rays hit the tumor at one or more angles. Moreover, the exposure time of one field can be up to several minutes. Sessions are carried out five days a week, you can visit the hospital only at the appointed time, then the patient goes home.
Cancer treatment is a rather difficult task. Doctors use all available methods of destroying atypical cells in the body. Chemotherapy also applies to them. This technique is based on the introduction of special chemicals or anticancer drugs into the human body.
They relate to cellular poisons or toxins that have a detrimental effect on the cells of a malignant tumor. Healthy tissue at the same time die in much smaller quantities.
The goal of chemotherapy is the complete destruction of a cancerous growth, or at least the inhibition of its growth, reproduction and metastasis with minimal damaging effect on the sick person's body.
With this method of treatment, there is no direct intervention in the pathological process. This is the difference between the method and standard drug treatment, when drugs stimulate or correct the natural processes in the body. The introduction of antitumor substances does not stimulate protective mechanisms, rather, on the contrary, inhibits them.
The injected substances do not distinguish between atypical tumor cells and hematopoietic structures (stem cells are quickly dividing).This subsequently leads to a decrease in immunity and weakening of the body.
Normalization of the patient's condition and the return of the lost functions of the affected organ occurs a second time, due to the destruction or reduction of the size of the cancerous growth.
Due to the high toxicity of this method and its detrimental effect on the whole organism as a whole, chemotherapy for brain cancer is not used as an independent treatment method. The oncologist is selected individually and on the basis of the patient’s age, weight and vitality.
At the moment, preference is given to drugs of a certain group: antimetabolites, drugs of the alkylating group, synthetic antibiotics.
Treatment is carried out in courses in several cycles, between which a break is needed. This approach allows you to remove part of the harmful substances from the body before a new portion of the antitumor drug is introduced.
Between chemotherapy sessions, specialists conduct a control study of the tumor to determine the effectiveness of the treatment.
In addition to the negative effects of chemotherapeutic drugs on the immune system, this treatment method inhibits the functioning of the hematopoiesis, digestive and excretory systems.
After undergoing the main treatment, the patient is prescribed a long recovery course. It is necessary, since any of the methods of therapy is traumatic for the body as a whole.
The patient should adhere to certain recommendations: maintain a special diet, visit a neurologist, psychologist, speech therapist, perform therapeutic physical exercises to restore physical activity. In some cases, when the tumor has affected large areas of the brain, it may be necessary to take narrow-profile drugs: anticonvulsants and antiepileptic drugs.
One of the rules for successfully undergoing rehabilitation is to maintain a special diet, as during an illness the patient often loses his appetite. This is necessary to restore vitality and fight cancer cells. Therefore, nutrition in brain cancer and after treatment should be balanced.
Preference should be given to fruits, vegetables and cereals. It is allowed to eat a small amount of meat and fish of low-fat varieties. You need to eat often in small portions, the patient should not overeat. It is necessary to limit the use of excessively sweet, salty, fatty foods, smoked meats and pickled products. Stop drinking coffee and strong tea.
Alcohol and smoking are strictly not allowed, as they can provoke the development of the tumor again.
There is no consensus on why brain cancer occurs. Therefore, it is difficult to identify any specific preventive measures to prevent it. The only thing a person can do is take his health more seriously, regularly undergo examinations if he is at risk.
Frequent stresses, lack of rest, overeating, improper lifestyle, eating harmful products negatively affect not only well-being, but also the work of the whole body, including the central nervous system. No one can say for sure what will trigger the development of cancer.
Prevention of brain cancer in this case boils down to one thing - it doesn’t force your body to work “to wear”. There should always be time for rest and restoration of vitality.
Symptoms and signs of a brain tumor
Symptoms of brain cancer are divided into two types:
- Focal, such symptoms in which their severity and type depend on a specific area of the brain: violation of the sensitivity of the legs and arms, complete or partial violation of the ability to move, incorrect perception of external factors, temperature, visual hallucinations.Changing mood, changing the nature of the patient, apathy, lethargy, memory loss, impulsive actions. Difficult urination and loss of bladder control.
- Cerebral, such symptoms are characteristic of all cases of a brain tumor: dizziness, headache, confusion, hormonal disorders, hearing impairment, speech impairment, epileptic seizures, vision problems, nausea, vomiting and convulsions.
A brain tumor can cause severe headaches. The pain is constant, oppressive, and resistant to painkillers. During physical exertion, also during coughing, torso and tension of the abdominal part of the body, the intensity of pain increases, and more often occurs in the morning. During sleep, fluid collects in the brain, as the formation grows, releases harmful substances and disrupts the proper outflow of blood. When a tumor is affected by the temporal and frontal lobes, the patient's motor ability disappears.
The hallmarks of headache in brain tumors are as follows:
- Severe pain after a night's rest,
- Throbbing headache
- Headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting,
- Pain in the head intensifies with a change in body position and physical effort.
If you suspect a disease and the presence of these symptoms, you must consult a doctor to fully clarify the clinical picture.
Symptoms of a brain tumor in men and women are the same and depend on its location and size.
Types of Brain Cancer
What is a brain tumor? This collective concept applies to benign and malignant neoplasms that form in the skull, in the process of uncontrolled division of healthy brain tissue cells. Their classification depends on the occurrence of:
1) Primary tumor - It can develop in the tissues of the brain, from the cranial nerves and membranes of the brain. Such tumors begin to arise when normal cells collide with mutations in DNA that lead to rapid cell division and growth, and exist even when they should die. From this, pathological cells form that form the tumor.
Types of primary tumors:
- Glioma or Glioblastoma,
2) Secondary tumor (metastatic) - a tumor that occurs as a result of a malignant process and can begin to develop in other organs and metastasize to the brain.
The most common types of secondary tumors:
- Lungs' cancer,
- Mammary cancer,
- Kidney cancer
- Colon cancer
A brain tumor in children is much more common than in adults. The first and second most common cases are glioma and meningioma.
There are four stages of brain cancer:
- First stage. The initial stage, in which the neoplasm is located on the surface of the brain, does not grow, and the cells from which it is formed are not aggressive. Detecting and recognizing a tumor is very difficult.
- Second stage. The tumor is actively growing, cells mutate and grow deep into the brain tissue, adhesions form, disrupting the lymphatic and circulatory system.
- Third stage. At this stage, the disease manifests itself with symptoms such as headaches, dizziness, nausea, fever, weight loss.
- The fourth stage. A volumetric formation grows in all brain cells, is unremovable and metastasizes throughout the body, which leads to epilepsy attacks, hallucinations, and a constant headache.
How to determine the exact reasons why neoplastic processes occur, a cancerous tumor appears, and are there any ways to prevent it? Today it is impossible. But still, experts note some reasons that may affect the formation of neoplasms:
- Genetic diseases, such as CNS neurofibromatosis, Bourneville disease, tuberculous sclerosis, Gorlin syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, can cause brain cancer,
- Age. The risk of malignant neoplasms increases with age, and treatment is complicated. The age group of the disease is from 45 years,
- Ionizing radiation - this risk factor may include people who are exposed to radiation therapy in the treatment of cancer, electromagnetic and x-ray radiation, exposure to homogenous substances,
- Exposure to chemicals presumably causes the development of a tumor, due to constant contact with harmful substances that are used in agriculture, oil refining, electrical, textile and healthcare industries.
The main method of treating the disease is a surgical operation to remove the neoplasm. The absence of the boundaries of the tumor and its germination in the meninges complicates the operation. But when squeezing a tumor of brain cells, it is necessary to conduct an operation, not to completely remove the neoplasm, but partially.
Before surgery, the body is prepared, painkillers and anticonvulsants are prescribed, and medications that reduce brain edema are administered.
A type of surgery in which a tumor is exposed to a low temperature and healthy tissue is not injured.
An operation is performed in cases where:
- Surgery excluded
- The tumor and metastases are deeply located or located in the pituitary gland,
- After the surgery, there were particles of the tumor,
- Elderly patient.
Consequences of the disease
- Cramps - uncontrollable, sharp contractions of the muscle group, which may be accompanied by damage to the center of consciousness of the brain, breathing may stop, foam may go from the mouth, and the patient may bite his tongue strongly. In this condition, anticonvulsants are prescribed,
- Failure of the normal outflow of cerebrospinal fluid or cerebrospinal fluidthat can lead to the development of hydrocephalus of the brain. The complication is accompanied by pain in the head and eyes, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, dizziness. Treated - bypass.
- Depression - a mental disorder, which is accompanied by a decrease in mood, slowed down speech, motor inhibition. In this case, antidepressants and psychotherapeutic methods of treatment are prescribed.
A brain tumor
A brain tumor can occur at any age, and its appearance does not depend on the patient's gender. Therefore, when strange symptoms appear, the head should be checked for cancerous tumors.
The appearance of a cancerous tumor of this type can be both in young and in adults, in other words, the chances of “getting a tumor” are equally equal for a mature woman and a young man. Like all types of tumors, brain cancer is divided primarily into malignant (carcinomas) and benign. They are also divided into:
- primary (they are formed from nerve cells, cranial nerves, membrane (cortex) of the brain). In Russia, according to statistics, about 12-14 people per 100,000 people per year get this type of disease.
- secondary (metastatic). This type is much more common - about 30 cases per 100,000 people per year. This type of cancer is a consequence of "infection" with tumors of a different location. These tumors are malignant.
Histological division of the tumor reveals about 120 species. Any of these species is characterized by its individual characteristics: structure, development rate, localization area, size (from 2 to 6 cm).But all of them are united by one fact - they are formed inside the cranium and the neoplastic process takes place there, in a limited space, that is, they are a “plus” - tissue inside the cranium.
Developing inside the cranium, the tumor grows, changes its size, begins to “swell” and squeeze nearby structures. This feature of them unites all these species in one group.
Depending on the location in the brain, various symptoms may occur:
- frequent motor impairment. They can affect one limb, two limbs on one side, sometimes even four limbs - everything will depend on the location of the tumor - in the right or left hemisphere. There is a decrease in muscle strength (paresis), the appearance of pathological symptoms of Babinsky, an increase in muscle tone,
- violation of sensitivity. This symptom manifests itself in numbness, a feeling of "goosebumps" on the skin, a decrease in sensitivity in certain parts of the body (or vice versa, an increase), sometimes it even completely disappears, and the ability to determine the location of an extremity with closed eyes is also possible.
- impaired speech, ability to write, read, count. Since there are certain zones in the brain that are responsible for these functions. If the localization of the tumor is in precisely such areas, then the speech begins to be confused, the person confuses the letters, does not understand the speech that is addressed to him. These signs do not appear simultaneously, but the gradual growth of the tumor leads to the progression of these multiple symptoms and as a result, speech may completely disappear.
- epileptic seizures (convulsions). They are partial and generalized. The first type is considered focal symptoms, and the second - can be both focal and cerebral,
- imbalance and coordination. Such symptoms appear if the tumor is localized in the cerebellum. With such a cancerous lesion, the patient's gait changes, he can fall out of the blue, dizziness often occurs. Often there is clumsiness, loss of accuracy and accuracy,
- cognitive impairment. This symptom is a clinical manifestation for a tumor in the temporal and frontal parts of the brain. Gradually deteriorating - memory, the ability to logical and abstract thinking. The severity of individual symptoms can be different - it can be a slight distraction, and a lack of orientation in time, etc.,
- hallucinations. As a rule, they are short-term and standard, as they reflect violations in a specific area. These hallucinations can be: sound, visual, auditory, taste, olfactory,
- disorders of the cranial nerves. Similar symptoms can occur due to the pressure from the tumor on the roots of the nerves. This can be: a decrease in visual acuity, facial asymmetry, a violation of taste in the tongue, hearing loss (loss), voice changes, etc.
- autonomic disorders. Some symptoms may be similar to those of VVD (although the name of the disease in neurology actually is not, but it is diagnosed). This type of disturbance occurs when the pressure of the tumor on the autonomic centers in the brain. Most often this is expressed by paroxysmal changes in blood pressure, pulse, respiratory rate, etc. When a tumor is located in the bottom of the 4th ventricle, this kind of phenomenon can be combined with dizziness, vomiting, temporary dizziness (Bruns syndrome),
- hormonal disruptions. These symptoms are possible with compression of the hypothalamus and pituitary gland or a violation of their blood supply. And perhaps they are the result of hormone-active tumors. Symptoms may be: obesity or vice versa - severe weight loss, menstrual irregularities, impotence, fever and other hormonal disorders.
Important! Focal symptoms do not occur all at the same time, with damage to different parts of the brain, symptoms typical for such a tumor are manifested.
Frontal lobe tumor
This type of tumor does not manifest itself for a long time. In this case, cerebral symptoms become the primary signs of such a tumor. At the initial stage, changes in human behavior are very characteristic, but they often go unnoticed and only after obvious changes in the psyche people go to the doctor. If the tumor is localized in the posterior regions of the left frontal lobe (in the right-handed), then first you can notice speech disorders, which are increasingly aggravated with tumor growth. In lefties, the presence of such a symptom occurs when the tumor is localized in the same place, but on the right.
The presence in a person of a tumor of the upper parts of the frontal lobe gives weakness to the legs (one or two). Tumor growth to the left or right provokes disruption of the pelvic organs.
Tumor of the parietal lobe
The parietal tumor is responsible for sensitivity disorders. Such a tumor manifests itself as a limitation of sensitivity in one of the limbs, as the tumor grows, such changes expect another limb on the same side. If the tumor is on the right, then violations will occur on the left and vice versa.
If the tumor is localized in the lower parts of the parietal lobe on the left (right-handed) and on the right (left-handed), then there may be impaired ability to read, write, count, and further speech disorders.
Temporal lobe tumor
This tumor causes hallucinations. If the tumor is located deep inside, then the prolapse (darkening) of the same half of the visual halves (the left or both right parts of the picture are not visible) can be observed. There may still be a violation of the meaning of conversations, memory is disturbed. An “epileptic seizure” or “deja vu” sensation can be called the “debut” of this type of tumor. A swelling tumor at the junction of the temporal and parietal lobes can simultaneously disrupt speech, the ability to read, write, and count.
Occipital lump tumor
A tumor in the area of the scalp is characterized by the appearance of hallucinations, a violation of the visual fields. Various oddities may appear in the form of unrecognition of the objects present, but the ability to verbally explain their purpose. Tumors of the occipital lobe lead to an increase in intracranial pressure and the appearance of cerebral symptoms. If you are concerned about the bulges that appear in the nape of the neck (bumps) or as if the back of the head was swollen, then this may well be the manifestation of the primary symptoms of cancer.
Tumors of the ventricles of the brain
The first symptom of this type of tumor is intracranial hypertension. There is a forced position of the head (the patient is forced to hold his head so that the tumor does not block the opening for the circulation of cerebrospinal fluid). In the third stage - hormonal disorders are possible, in the fourth - Bruns syndrome.
Tumors of the posterior cranial fossa
With a tumor of the posterior cranial level, the cerebellum is the first to be affected, therefore, the first manifestations of such a tumor will be impaired coordination of movement, the presence of dizziness. Nystagmus may occur, muscle tone decreases. The consequences of loss of cerebellum functioning may be such symptoms - astasia, atony, asthenia - impaired motor functions.
Brain stem tumor
This tumor is manifested by the occurrence of alternating syndromes. The bottom line is this: on the one hand, a defect in one of the cranial nerves can occur, on the other hand, there is a violation of coordination of movement, etc. An example is a situation where a person has a warped face on the right, and the left limb loses its sensitivity. This tumor is often fused to the brainstem - a para-stem tumor.
Stages of brain cancer
There are 4 stages of brain cancer in total. The stages of this disease can change very quickly, sometimes even they do not have time to identify.
- Stage 1 - signs of cancer at this early stage are poorly expressed, and the onset of the disease can be completely asymptomatic, the number of cancer cells is minimal. If cancer can be diagnosed, then surgery is used in which a favorable outcome is common,
- Stage 2 - the tumor captures adjacent tissues, but surgical intervention is still possible. Signs begin to show more clearly
Important! With stages 1 and 2 of cancer, the chance to completely get rid of the tumor is very large.
- Stage 3 - as a rule, in this stage of the cancer the tumor is considered already inoperable, treatment is carried out with medications,
- Stage 4 - the most unfavorable stage of the disease. The tumor captures almost the entire brain. There are cases of successful surgical intervention, but basically this stage is characterized by an irreversible process. The use of any treatment can only slow down the process.
Brain cancer in children
This type of cancer is found not only in an adult, but also in a child, 16% of malignant neoplasms occur in brain cancer. Symptoms of this disease in children and adolescents look almost the same as in adults. In young children, this type of cancer can manifest itself as an increase in head circumference, swelling of the fontanel, discrepancies in cranial sutures may be noticeable. On the head of a newborn, one can see the emerging vascular vein patterns. In older children, intracranial pressure may occur due to divergence of the sutures of the skull.
Methods for diagnosing the disease
Even mild signs of the disease should be a serious reason for going to the doctor to check for the presence of a tumor. And the doctor, according to external symptoms, can prescribe a more effective study that will help to recognize the type and stage of the tumor:
- MEG (magnetoencephalography),
- MRI (magnetic resonance imaging),
- CT scan, angiography,
- FERT, lumbar puncture,
- blood test, which takes into account various indicators,
After carrying out all the prescribed diagnostic complexes, the doctor prescribes treatment.
As a rule, treatment methods with a brain tumor include the following areas:
- surgical intervention.
When diagnosed with a brain tumor, chemotherapy is ineffective. The main treatment is surgery to remove the neoplasm. Not always the tumor can be completely removed, it depends on where the tumor is formed. Alternatives to surgical intervention are - a cyber knife and a gamma knife - modern means of combating cancer. Sometimes cryotherapy is also used - freezing a cancerous tumor.
What is the corpus callosum, where is this organ located, and what functions does it perform?
It connects the right and left hemispheres in the brain and is responsible for the coordinated activity of both hemispheres.
Can a cancer tumor resolve itself?
No, the process can stop, but without the appropriate treatment this cannot be.
This part serves as an extension of the spinal cord and is the posterior part of the brain. It regulates the processes of blood circulation and respiration.