What Is A Brain Tumour?
A brain tumour is an abnormal growth or mass of cells in or around the brain. Spinal tumours and brain tumours are called central nervous system (CNS) tumours. These tumours may be malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). About 30% of brain tumours are cancerous.
Brain tumours may cause impairment of brain function and general health, irrespective of whether it is malignant or benign. Depending on the location and size of the tumour, it may affect the functions of certain parts of the brain, or press on surrounding nerves and blood vessels.
How Do I Know If I Have A Brain Tumour?
A scan of the brain, either using Computerized Tomography (CT) scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the only way to confirm a brain tumour. However, there are some signs and symptoms that may lead your doctor to suspect that you may have a brain tumour.
The signs and symptoms of brain tumour include, but is not limited to:
● New or worsening headaches, that may be more severe in the morning.
● Unexplained nausea or vomiting
● Vision problems such as double vision, blurred vision or loss of peripheral vision
● Gradual weakness or loss of sensation in the face, arms or legs
● Difficulty with balance
● Speech difficulties
● Change in personality or behaviour
● Difficulty in making decisions or obeying commands
● Hearing or swallowing problems
● Lethargy, fatigue or drowsiness
What Are The Treatment Options If I Have A Brain Tumour?
There are many factors that determine the best treatment option for an individual with a brain tumour. The neurosurgeon will need to consider the tumour size, location, and type, the number of tumours, and also the patient's age and overall health. Treatment options include close monitoring, medication, surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), conventional radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
What Is The Best Surgery For A Brain Tumour?
The best surgery for a brain tumour depends on the location, size and type of tumour. Other factors may depend on the patient's age and health, and also on the surgeon's experience and training. When possible, neurosurgeons will remove the entire tumour. However, this is not always possible and the best option may be a debulking or biopsy of the tumour followed by other treatment options. Neurosurgeons may utilise advanced modern equipment such as microscopes, endoscopes, image guided surgery, and intraoperative ultrasound to minimise damage to other healthy areas of the brain.