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Brain Tumour Treatment: Symptoms, Classification, Diagnosis & Recovery

A brain tumor is an abnormal growth of cells in the brain which can be cancerous or non-cancerous. This growth can occur in any part of the brain or originate elsewhere in the body and spread to the brain.

It is a fairly common condition that affects millions of people worldwide. An undiagnosed brain tumor can be fatal, making it crucial to undergo specific tests and begin treatment promptly once the diagnosis is confirmed.

The two most common symptoms of a brain tumor are increasingly severe headaches and blurred vision. Additionally, individuals with this condition may experience seizures, confusion, nausea, vertigo, impaired speech, and loss of balance.

Treatment for a brain tumor depends on several factors, including the type, size, and location of the tumor, as well as the overall health of the patient and age. These considerations are taken by the doctor while preparing a brain tumor treatment plan.

Different treatment modalities can be used to treat brain tumor patients and surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy are among them. Usually, a combination of treatment modalities is used to conduct brain tumor treatment.

Brain tumors are of various types, determined by the cells they consist of. Tumor cell testing in the lab helps identify the type of Tumor. Some are noncancerous or benign, while others are cancerous or malignant. Benign tumors typically grow slowly, while malignant tumors tend to overgrow.

Following are the different types of Brain Tumor:

  • Gliomas: It can be the most common type of malignant brain tumor.
  • Pineal tumors: The tumors that grow around the brain’s Pineal gland.
  • Meningiomas: The brain tumors that start in the membranes around the brain and spinal cord.
  • Nerve tumors: The Tumors refer to the growth of abnormal cells around the nerves.
  • Pituitary tumors: This type of tumor grows in the pituitary gland.
  • Pineal tumors: Tumor that originates in or around the pineal gland.

Brain tumor signs and symptoms can vary widely depending on the type, location, and size of the tumor. Common symptoms may include:

  • Headaches: Persistent or severe headaches that may worsen over time, especially in the morning or with changes in position.
  • Seizures: Recurrent seizures, which may be generalized or focal.
  • Vision Changes: Blurred vision, double vision, or loss of peripheral vision.
  • Balance and Coordination Issues: Difficulty with balance, coordination, and walking.
  • Cognitive Changes: Memory problems, confusion, difficulty concentrating, or personality changes.
  • Speech Difficulties: Slurred speech or difficulty finding the right words.
  • Weakness or Numbness: Weakness or numbness in the face, arms, or legs, often on one side of the body.
  • Personality Changes: Mood swings, irritability, or other unexplained changes in behavior.
  • Fatigue: Unexplained fatigue and lethargy.

Before initiating treatment for a brain tumor, several tests are conducted to identify the exact location of the tumor. Additionally, the doctors determine with the help of tests whether the tumor is cancerous or non-cancerous.

The patient will be advised to undergo a couple of routine blood tests and undergo an electrocardiography (ECG) test to check for the normal functioning of the heart.

Neurological Examination: A doctor may assess your neurological function, including coordination, reflexes, muscle strength, and sensory perception.

Certain additional tests such as CT scans and MRIs are also conducted.

  • MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging): This is a key diagnostic tool for detecting brain tumors. It provides detailed images of the brain, helping identify the location, size, and characteristics of the tumor.
  • CT (Computed Tomography) Scan: This imaging technique uses X-rays to create cross-sectional images of the brain, aiding in the identification of abnormalities.
  • Biopsy: A biopsy involves the removal of a small tissue sample for examination under a microscope. This is typically done after identifying a suspicious area on imaging. Biopsies can be obtained through surgery or less invasive procedures, such as needle biopsy or stereotactic biopsy.
  • Cerebral Angiography: This involves injecting a contrast dye into the blood vessels of the brain to highlight them on X-rays. It helps evaluate blood flow and identify abnormalities.

The treatment of Brain tumors depends on things like the type, size, grade, and where it is in the brain. There are different options like surgery, radiation, radiosurgery, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Your healthcare team will also think about your overall health and what you prefer when figuring out the best treatment for you.

  • Surgery: Surgery is almost always recommended for brain tumor patients. To remove the tumor in the brain, the surgeon first opens the skull, a procedure known as a craniotomy.

During the surgery, the surgeon aims to remove as much tumor as possible without affecting the nearby tissues. Partial tumor removal is carried out in some patients to reduce the size of the tumor to make sure that it can be treated with radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

The tumor is left as in some patients. In such cases, the doctor only removes a sample of the tumor tissue for a biopsy. The biopsy in the case of brain tumor patients is mostly conducted with the help of a needle. During this procedure, the tissue sample is looked under a microscope to identify the type of cells that it has. Accordingly, the doctors advise a course of treatment.

  • Radiation Therapy: It is another treatment modality used in the case of patients with brain cancer and tumors that cannot be removed through surgery. Additionally, it is also used to destroy tumor cells that could not be removed during surgery.

External radiation therapy, internal radiation therapy, and GammaKnife or stereotactic radiosurgery are some of the forms of radiation therapies commonly used to treat brain tumor patients.

  • Chemotherapy: This is the third treatment used for a brain tumor. It involves the use of a specific combination of drugs to kill cancer cells. These drugs are mostly administered intravenously and the patients are not required to stay in the hospital for this procedure. Chemotherapy is administered in cycles.

After a surgery for brain tumour removal, the patients need extra time to heal fully. Additionally, it may take a few months for the patient to return back to normal energy levels. The total time taken by the patient to recover, however, depends on several factors. This may include the following:

  • The duration of treatment
  • The number and type of treatment modalities used
  • Patient’s age and overall health
  • The exact location of the tumor in the brain
  • The area of the brain affected by tumor
  • The exact length of hospital stay after the surgery may vary among patients. However, a five to six-day stay is the most common among patients. The patients are carefully monitored during this period. A team of occupational, physical, and speech therapists helps with the rehabilitation of the patient during the recovery phase.

Ms. Monica
Ms. Monica


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Mrs. Lobna Salah Hassan


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Patient Testimonial: Mohammud Rabiu from Nigeria underwent Brain Tumor Treatment in India
Mr. Mohammud Rabiu


Patient Testimonial: Mohammud Rabiu from Nigeria underwent Brain Tumor Treatment in India Read Full Story

Patient from Nepal underwent Cavernoma Treatment in India
Uday Basnet


Patient from Nepal underwent Cavernoma Treatment in India Read Full Story

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you tell if you have a brain tumour?

A: Some of the common signs and symptoms of a brain tumour may include frequent and severe headaches, vision-related problems such as blurred or double vision, unexplained vomiting or nausea, and seizures. Even though these are the common signs of brain tumor, a proper diagnosis is required to confirm the condition. These symptoms can be present because of some other medical condition as well.

Q: What is the most common type of brain tumour?

A: Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a type of tumor that belongs to a category called gliomas. It is one of the most common and the deadliest brain tumour that affects adults. It develops in the star-shaped glial cells called astrocytes. These cells support the nerve cells.

Q: Are brain tumors treatable?

A: Whether brain tumors can be cured or not depends on the grade of the tumor. Grade I tumor cells are mostly treatable if they are removed completely during surgery. Grade II and Grade III cells may spread to nearby tissues and there are chances of them coming back despite treatment. Grade IV brain tumors are mostly untreatable.

Q: What tests are conducted to diagnose brain tumour?

A: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) tests are conducted to diagnose a brain tumor. These may include a functional MRI, MR spectroscopy, and perfusion MRI. A CT scan is also sometimes conducted at the time of diagnosis.

Q: What can be done to prevent brain cancer?

A: The occurrence of brain cancer has not been linked to a single cause. However, exposure to environmental toxins and radiation and HIV infection are known to increase the risk of brain tumour.