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Brain Tumors

BY IN health & wellness On 31-03-2015

According to CBTRUS, the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States, an estimated 68,470 new cases of primary malignant and non-malignant brain and CNS tumors are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2015. This includes an estimated 23,180 primary malignant and 45,300 non-malignant that are expected to be diagnosed in the US in 2015.

The worldwide incidence rate of primary malignant brain and CNS tumors in 2012, age-adjusted using the world standard population, was 3.4 per 100,000. Incidence rates by gender were 3.9 per 100,000 in males and 3.0 per 100,000 in females. The most common childhood brain tumor is medulloblastoma which is malignant.

According to CBTRUS, the prevalence rate for all primary brain and CNS tumors was estimated to be 221.8 per 100,000 (61.9 per 100,000 for malignant; 177.3 per 100,000 for non-malignant) in 2010. It was estimated that more than 688,096 persons were living with a diagnosis of primary brain and central nervous system tumor in the United States in 2010 (malignant tumors: more than 138,054 persons; non-malignant tumors: more than 550,042 persons).

The prevalence rate for all pediatric (ages 0-19) primary brain and central nervous system tumors was estimated at 35.4 per 100,000 with more than 28,000 children estimated to be living with this diagnosis in the United States in 2004. The average five-year survival rate for primary malignant brain tumor in the United States is 34.2%. Early detection and diagnosis is the key to a successful outcome.

The most common symptoms of brain tumors are:

● severe headaches
● vomiting
● nausea
● seizures,
● visual disturbances,
● mood disorders
● problems with memory
● changes in speech
● hearing and balance issues
● gait disturbances
● numbness or tingling in an extremity
● weakness in one part of the body

A brain tumor occurs when abnormal cells form within the brain and start growing out of control. They can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous(benign). Cancerous tumors can be divided into primary tumors that started within the brain and those that spread from somewhere else which is known as metastasis. Primary brain tumors are tumors that originate within brain tissue. They are classified by the type of tissue in which they arise. The most common brain tumors are gliomas.

Secondary brain tumors are tumors caused from cancer that originates in one part of the body and spreads to another part of the body. The spread of cancer within the body is called metastasis. Cancer that spreads to the brain is the same disease. An example of this would be lung cancer which spreads to the brain.

Brain tumor treatment depends on a number of factors, including the type, location, size, and grade of the tumor, as well as the age and health of the patient. Specialists who treat brain tumors include neurosurgeons, neurooncologists, medical oncologists, and radiation oncologists. There are many treatments available.

The first is steroids. Steroids are often used to reduce the buildup of fluids around a tumor which is known as edema. Steroids are naturally occurring hormones. Brain tumor patients are given corticosteroids.

Surgery is the first choice treatment for most benign and many malignant tumors. It is preferable to the patient when a tumor can be removed without any undue risk of neurological damage.

Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to treat cancer. The goals of chemotherapy are to stop tumor growth. There are chemotherapeutic drugs which prevent cells from reproducing. There are also drugs which artificially induce cellular death.

Given the advancements in medical technology and pharmaceuticals, there are new treatments on the horizon or are in use already. Please check with your primary care physician or your specialist.

For brain tumor support and information please review the following links:

http://www.abta.org
http://www.cancer.org
http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/npcr


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