Brain tumors occur when there is abnormal cell growth inside the brain. These abnormal cells create pressure inside the skull and may cause damage to various parts of the brain. In some cases, it may be life-threatening. The tumors present inside the brain may be cancerous and non-cancerous. Based on origin, the tumor may be divided into primary or secondary. The primary brain tumor originates inside the brain. Most primary brain tumors are benign. Secondary brain tumor originates in other organs such as breast or lungs and travels to the brain.
Symptoms Of Brain Tumor
Following are some of the symptoms of a brain tumor:
- Nausea and vomiting that may be persistent
- Severe headache that worsens in the morning and increases in severity when you cough or sneeze
- Speech difficulty and difficulty balancing
- Vision problems
- Loss of sensation in the peripheral organs such as arms or legs.
- Hearing problems
- Confusion and lack of concentration
- Behavioral changes
Diagnosis Of Brain Tumor
Your doctor may diagnose a brain tumor through the following measures:
Physical evaluation and neurological examination: Your doctor may ask you several questions about your symptoms. He may ask you about your medical history and family history. The doctor may also perform a neurological examination. During the neurological examination, the doctor may analyze your vision, speaking ability, your reflexes, and balance and coordination.
Imaging methods: If the doctor has any concern about the presence of a brain tumor, he may advise you to undergo various imaging tests. These tests include CT scan and MRI scan. MRI is the most common method to detect brain tumors. However, in some cases, the doctors may also opt for a CT scan.
Biopsy: Biopsy of the tumor is done to decide if the tumor is benign or cancerous. The doctor takes a small tissue from the brain for this purpose.
Treatment For Brain Tumor
Following options are available for treating brain tumors:
Surgery: Your doctor may advise you to undergo surgery for a brain tumor if the tumor is easily accessible. Many doctors are experts in performing minimally invasive brain tumor surgery.
Radiation therapy: Radiation therapy involves the killing of tumor cells with the help of radiation. The doctors may use this technique along with the surgery. Another type of radiation therapy is radiosurgery, which involves focussing different radiation on a particular tumor.
Chemotherapy: There are various types of brain tumors, and the doctor decides the strategy of chemotherapy on its basis. Chemotherapy involves the use of drugs to kill cancerous cells. These drugs may be in the form of an oral tablet or injectable.
Procedure Of Brain Tumor Surgery
The procedure of brain tumor surgery has the following steps:
- Doctor gives local anesthesia to shave off part of the scalp.
- The doctor removes the bone flap to get access to the brain under general anesthesia.
- The doctor removes the tumor from the brain as much as possible.
- The doctor replaces the bone flap and close the wound through stitches.
- The doctor may prescribe medications to reduce pain and swelling due to surgery.
The complete surgery takes place in around 4-5 hours. The patient has to stay in the hospital for 4-5 days.
Cost Of Brain Tumor Surgery In India
The cost of brain surgery in India depends upon various factors, including the type of brain tumor and the type of technology used. For instance, the cost of surgery for meningioma is around 5000-6000 USD, while pituitary tumor surgery costs about USD 6500-7000. Gamma knife treatment costs around USD 6500, while the CyberKnife treatment costs about USD 7000.
Factors Affecting Cost Of Brain Tumor Surgery
Following factors affect the cost of brain tumor surgery:
- Experience of the doctor
- Hospital infrastructure
- Type and location of the tumor
- The technology used for surgery
- Diagnostic costs
- Type of room opted
Does every headache indicate a brain tumor?
Headache is a common condition and has a variety of causes. Not all headache indicates a brain tumor. However, the patient should consult with the doctor if he has a persistent headache or the headache that frequently comes and go. This may be due to a serious medical condition.
When should a patient consult with the doctor after brain tumor surgery?
The patient should immediately consult the doctor after brain tumor surgery if:
- He has a severe headache.
- Swelling in the ankles
- Nausea and vomiting
- Bleeding or easy bruising
- Rashes on the skin
- Worsening nerve disorders
What is the difference between a benign tumor and a malignant tumor?
A benign tumor is usually harmless and has no potential to spread to other organs. There are very few chances of recurrence of benign tumors. Malignant tumors grow at a fast rate and have the potential to spread to other organs.
How the recovery after the brain tumor surgery takes place?
The person should take complete rest and follow all the instructions of the doctor. He should not skip any scheduled visit. The patient is fit to perform the daily activities almost 4-5 months after the surgery.