Before beginning medical treatment for a brain and spinal cord tumour, it is important to find out a few things about the disease. This is made possible in part by the many advances in modern medicine. So what are the symptoms of a brain tumour and what medical treatments are recommended for this disease?
What is a brain tumour?
A brain tumour is a mass of abnormal cells that grow and multiply uncontrollably in the brain of a sick person. The abnormalities start in the cells of the brain, and with a few exceptions, the brain fills this area. Spinal cord cancer, on the other hand, starts in the spinal cord. Together with the brain, it forms the central nervous system, which controls the human body. To diagnose and treat a brain tumour, it is necessary to contact a specialist doctor.
There are several types of spinal cord tumours and brain tumours. The group of tumours that arise in the support cells of the spinal cord and brain, or in the glial cells, is called a glioma. It is the most common type of primary brain tumour in adults, and represents high-grade central nervous system cancer tumours. In addition, there are also tumours that originate in the cells of the meninges. They are called meningiomas and low-grade meningiomas are the most common.
Symptoms of a brain tumour
The symptoms of a brain and spinal cord tumour vary depending on its location. These are the same for both cancerous and non-cancerous tumours. They appear when the tumour is large enough and disrupts the normal functioning of the brain and spinal cord. Some of the most common ones are epileptic seizures, headaches that get worse when the body is active, changes in thinking, personality, behaviour and mood, vomiting and nausea, abnormal movements, difficulty understanding words and speaking, fatigue, coma, or vision and hearing problems.
For those of the spinal cord, there is weakening of the body, numbness, neck or back pain that may extend to the legs or arms, change in posture, bowel problems, difficulty walking or lack of coordination in the limbs.
Medical treatments for brain tumours
Brain tumour treatment teams must first locate the location of the tumour, its grade and size. They must also consider the patient’s neurological function, age, health status and previous treatments. Several procedures can be used to treat the tumour. On the other hand, there are also craniotomies, brain mapping and surgery to remove cerebrospinal fluid.
Radiotherapy is also a method that can be used if surgery is not possible. Chemotherapy, on the other hand, is used to treat cancer that has returned despite successful treatment. When a patient’s treatment proves to be ineffective and the tumour recurs, the patient must receive targeted treatment. For spinal cord cancers or low-grade tumour types, active surveillance is recommended. Individuals with cancer should be monitored very regularly over the five years following treatment.