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A brain tumor is a very rare disease, for the most part no cause is found. People get sick mainly during childhood or at the age of 70 years. There are many brain tumor types - good and malignant. Your treatment and prognosis vary greatly. Generally, a brain tumor can be operated on, irradiated or treated with chemotherapeutic agents.

So far, it is largely unknown why a primary brain tumor forms. For most people affected, no triggering factor can be found. If no brain tumor causes are known, experts also speak of a sporadic brain tumor.

Secondary brain tumors, ie brain metastases, form when there is cancer in the body. Therefore, if there are risk factors for a specific cancer, the risk of brain metastases is also increased. However, not every malignant tumor spreads to the brain.

Not every brain tumor is treated the same. Basically, you can operate on a brain tumor, irradiate or perform chemotherapy. But these three options can be performed in very different ways or even combined with each other.

Which brain tumor treatment is suitable in a particular case depends on the type of tissue, the cell change and special molecular biological characteristics. Of course, it also takes into account how advanced the disease is and what wishes the person expresses. Not all options are available for every patient, but there are usually alternative treatments.

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A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of cells inside the brain or skull; some are benign, others malignant. Tumors can grow from the brain tissue itself (primary), or cancer from elsewhere in the body can spread to the brain (metastasis). 2020-03-10 Brain Tumor
Profiles of Doctors for Brain Tumor
Brain Tumor

In the term brain tumor, most people think of cancer. Fortunately, this is rarely true. Brain tumors can be both benign and malignant. Therefore, the term brain tumor is initially more accurate.

Physicians speak of neuroectodermal tumors of the central nervous system or intracranial tumors in brain tumors and spinal cord tumors.

In brain tumors, doctors first differentiate between two forms:

  • Primary brain tumors are formed from benign or malignant degenerated brain matter or from the meninges.
  • Secondary brain tumors are secondary tumors (metastases) caused by other cancers.

The World Health Organization divides brain tumors into four severity levels:

  1. benign, slow growth, very good prognosis
  2. benign, with risk of degeneration into a malignant tumor
  3. malignant, originated from the onset or benign tumor
  4. very vicious, fast tumor growth, poor prognosis

Thanks to modern brain surgery and drug treatment options, most grade 1 to 3 brain tumors can be removed without any consequences. For tumors of the 4th degree, no general statements on the prospects of cure are possible.

Brain tumors are very rare. The frequency is given in the literature with one case per 100,000 inhabitants and year (annual incidence). There is no frequency peak in terms of age or gender.

Symptoms

Depending on their location and size, brain tumors cause a variety of symptoms. In advanced ulcers threaten various disorders of brain function. The range of disorders ranges from simple coordination disorders, paralysis (even breathing) to the loss of sensory perception or speech loss. These neurological deficits are only a few of the possible symptoms. In addition, brain tumors cause epileptic seizures, depression, psychosis, delusions or personality changes.

Warning sign for possible brain tumors

The symptoms mentioned so far usually do not occur until brain tumors have grown over a long period of time. During this often years of growth, however, they cause little discomfort. But there are some symptoms that can serve as warning signs. These are for example:

  • Unusually frequent or newly occurring and increasingly severe headaches (especially at night and in the morning)
  • Dizziness or drowsiness (drowsiness, fainting, disorientation)
  • Morning sickness and vomiting
  • Neurological deficits such as visual disturbances, speech disorders or word finding disorders
  • Suddenly increasing forgetfulness and diminished ability to think or concentrate
  • Paralysis or numbness
  • Personality changes such as easier irritability and reduced frustration tolerance
  • Epileptic seizures

The cause of the development of brain tumors is unknown in the vast majority of cases.

Treatment

The standard procedure for treating brain tumors is brain surgery. In these procedures, the tumor is surgically removed. However, these operations are not always possible. This applies, for example, if the tumor is very close to a vital brain structure such as the respiratory center or if the tumor has ramified widely. In these cases, the chances of recovery are often low.

Alternatives or supplements to surgery are radiation and chemotherapy. These also sometimes serve to remove brain tumors before a planned surgical removal or even to create the leeway for surgery. In addition, there are other drug therapy concepts (for example, the cancer immunotherapy or immunotoxin treatment) in the form of individual therapeutic trials.

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