Best Brain Tumor Diagnosis and Treatment in Thailand

A brain tumor occurs when abnormal cells form within the brain. There are two main types of tumors: cancerous (malignant) tumors  and benign (non-cancerous) tumors. 

Brain tumors can begin in your brain (primary brain tumors), or cancer that begin in other parts of the body and spread to the brain (secondary, or metastatic, brain tumors). 

The growth rate as well as the location of a brain tumor determines how it will affect the function of the nervous system. The treatment options depend on the type of brain tumor you have, as well as its size and location.

Types of brain tumor:

  • Primary brain tumors 
    • Primary brain tumors originate in the brain. It can develop from the 
      • Brain cells
      • Nerve cells
      • Glands
      • The membranes that surrounds the brain, which are called meninges
  • Primary tumors can be benign or cancerous. In adults, the most common types of brain tumors are gliomas and meningiomas.
  • Gliomas
    • Gliomas are tumors that develop from glial cells. These cells normally:
      • Support the structure of your central nervous system
      • Clean cellular waste
      • Provide nutrition to the central nervous system
      • Break down dead neurons
    • Gliomas can develop from different types of glial cells.
  • Secondary brain tumors
    • Secondary brain tumors make up the majority of brain cancers. It starts in one part of the body and spreads, or metastasizes, to the brain. The following can metastasize to the brain;
      • Lung cancer 
      • Breast cancer
      • Kidney cancer
      • Skin cancer
    • Secondary brain tumors are always malignant. Benign tumors don’t spread from one part of the body to another.

Risk factors for a brain tumor

  • Family history – only about 5-10 percent of all cancers are genetically inherited, or hereditary. It’s rare for a brain tumor to be genetically inherited.
  • Age – risk for most types of brain tumors increases with age.
  • Chemical exposure – being exposed to certain chemicals can increase the risk for brain cancer.
  • Exposure to radiation – people who have been exposed to ionizing radiation have an increased risk of brain tumors
  • No history of chicken pox – people with a history of childhood chicken pox have decreased risk of getting brain tumors

Symptoms of brain tumors depend on the location and size of the tumor. Some tumors cause direct damage by invading brain tissue and some tumors cause pressure on the surrounding brain. Symptoms will be noticeable when the growing tumor is putting pressure on the brain tissue.

Headaches are a common symptom of a brain tumor. Patient may experience headaches that:

  • Occur while sleeping
  • Worse in the morning when waking up
  • Made worse by coughing, sneezing, or exercise

Symptoms may also include

  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Weakness of a limb or part of the face
  • Seizures (especially in adults)
  • A change in mental functioning
  • Clumsiness 
  • Memory loss
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Hand tremors
  • Loss of balance
  • Difficulty writing or reading
  • Changes in the ability to hear, taste or smell

To diagnose a brain tumor, doctors will start by asking questions about the symptoms and taking a personal and family health history. A physical exam will then be performed including a neurological exam.

People with brain tumors have several treatment options. The options are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Many people get a combination of treatments. 

The choice of treatment depends mainly are;

  • The type and grade of brain tumor
  • Its location in the brain
  • Its size
  • Age and general health

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