The brain is the command center of the entire nervous system. At only 3 pounds, it’s the most complex of all of our organs. It controls everything from your personality to your senses. Many things can go wrong with our brains such as psychological disorders or infections. The brain can also develop masses called tumors that can be either benign or malignant.
These tumors can grow anywhere in the brain and aren’t always cancerous. Because of different locations, there are a large variety of symptoms that present themselves. One of these symptoms is the personality change that happens to some people. The tumor can start to press on certain parts of the brain that makes these changes happen.
There are two different ways a tumor can develop. It can start growing in the brain, or the tissues can build up from another area in the body. The rapid reproduction of cells and the dead cells that won’t disappear cause the mass to increase in size.
The different types of tumors that can be found in the brain, and anywhere else in the body, are benign and malignant. Malignant tumors are the ones that contain cancer cells. These cells can grow quickly and will invade healthy tissue. The benign tumors don’t do this. However, they can still be life threatening, unlike benign tumors in other parts of the body.
Treatment for this type of tumor can be tricky. Since radiation is used a lot in cancer treatment, one may think it would be highly successful with the brain. This may be true, but radiation to the head can be one of the causes of brain tumors to begin with. Removal is usually the first thing that is considered. Chemotherapy and radiation come either before or afterward, depending on the size of the tumor. Removing it is highly dependent on location, size, and cell activity.
The symptoms of brain tumors can vary. Seizures and severe headaches are most common as are things like drowsiness and progressive weakness.
What causes them, anyway? While no reason has been found for cancer, in general, there are still a few risk factors to know about. Genetics are one of them. Receiving radiation to the head as a child also increases the possibility of a tumor 20 or 30 years later. If cancer comes from another part of your body, the cause will have many different factors. Depending on which kind of cancer has spread to the brain, underlying causes such as asbestos exposure or even trauma can be named.
Approximately 78,000 people will be diagnosed with a brain tumor this year alone. 4,000 of those people will be children or teenagers. It is the most common type of tumor found in individuals aged 0 through 19, with leukemia coming in second.
This kind of tumor is not very common. Only about 12 people for every 100,000 suffer from them. Regardless of this, raising awareness is still important. That’s where World Brain Tumor Day comes in. 16 years ago, The German Brain Cancer Association created this day with the goal to increase awareness in mind. On the 8th of June, people with brain tumors around the world will be acknowledged. This day was created to help people find other like them and to educate others about this unfortunate condition. The need for research is great and urgent. There is very little done at this time. The brain is such a complex organ and has plays a crucial role in life. Without a healthy brain some people won’t be able to find peace. Finding a cure depends solely on research being done.
Take a moment on this day to consider telling someone about brain tumors. When enough people know about it the desire to find a cure will increase. That is all that’s needed to prompt researchers and scientists to start studying the brain a little more. Technology is constantly and rapidly improving and finding new ways to look at and treat conditions that are thought to be untreatable.
World Brain Tumor Day may not directly affect you, but you or someone you know can be diagnosed at any time. There is a 1% chance of developing one, so it’s not very likely. However, educating yourself and spreading the word can be helpful to ones suffering, knowing that people see them.