brain cancer

What Is Brain Cancer And Its Causes


Brain cancer refers to the outgrowth of cells in the area of the brain that forms masses. These masses are known as tumors. Malignant or cancerous brain tumors can fastly grow. The growth of a tumor depends on its type. Cancerous tumors disrupt the working of your body.

These tumors can prove life-threatening. Brain cancer is not an uncommon disease. American Cancer Society has estimated that humans have less than one percent chance to develop cancerous or malignant brain tumors throughout their life.

Causes Of Brain Cancer

Researchers have not yet discovered the main cause of brain cancer. But there are some risk factors that lead to brain cancer. If you are exposed to ionizing radiation’s high dose then there are chances that you may develop brain cancer.

A family history of brain cancer disease is also associated with the development of this disease. Cancer in any body part is a great risk of developing a tumor in the area of the brain. This is not brain cancer but the cancers that spread in other body parts and the brain.

Cancers that metastasize to the human brain commonly are:

  • Breast Cancer
  • Lung Cancer
  • Kidney Cancer
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Melanoma (skin cancer’s type)

Other factors that play a vital role in the development of brain cancer are:

  • Long term smoking
  • Increased age
  • Exposure to fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides
  • Having mononucleosis or Epstein-Barr virus infection
  • Working with specific elements that lead to cancer such as plastic, lead, petroleum, rubber, and some other textiles

Symptoms Of Brain Cancer

Symptoms of brain cancer are linked with the location and size of the tumor. Following are the common existing symptoms of brain cancer.

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches that get worse in the morning
  • Lack of coordination
  • Lack of balance
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Memory lapses
  • Difficulty in thinking
  • Vision problems
  • Speech issues
  • Changes in personality
  • Abnormal movements of the eye
  • Twitching of muscles
  • Muscle jerking
  • Drowsiness
  • Unexplained syncope or passing out
  • Seizures
  • Numbness or tingling in legs or arms

Some other less serious conditions can also cause the symptoms of brain cancer. Don’t be panic if you are facing these symptoms. It’s good to go to a doctor to investigate the symptoms.

Brain Cancer Types

Cancer’s name is associated with the area of your body where it begins. Brain cancer initiates in the area of your brain. Sometimes it is called primary brain cancer. You may also suffer from cancer that starts in another area of the body and spreads to the brain.

It refers to metastatic cancer of the brain. Tumors in the brain parts are metastatic. There are the grades and types of brain tumors to specify them. The type of the tumor is associated with its location in your brain while the grade of the tumor indicates its growth.

It tells how fastly a tumor can grow in your brain. The range of grades is from 1 to 4. Grade four means the tumor has the fastest growth. Types of brain tumors are 120 above.

There is no proper standard to name the tumors according to their type. Tumors also have many subtypes. Doctors may also use different names for one tumor.

Diagnoses Of Brain Cancer

The doctor performs one of the following tests if you are having symptoms of a brain tumor.

  • Neurological examination to identify if the tumor is exerting an effect on your brain
  • Imaging tests like MRI, CT, and positron emission tomography scan to locate the tumor
  • Lumbar puncture, a procedure in which a doctor takes a small sample of your brain and spinal cord fluid to check the cancer cells
  • Brain biopsy, a surgical procedure in which doctors remove a small amount of tumor for the purpose of diagnostic testing to determine if you are having a malignant tumor or not

Long-Term Outlook

The long-term outlook is associated with the location type and size of your brain tumor. Some brain cancers have a slow rate of survival. American Cancer Society revealed that up to 90 percent of people between the ages of 20 and 44 suffer from some type of brain cancer for five years or longer.

Treatments of brain cancer can also increase the risk of getting some other cancerous tumors. Treatments can also cause cataracts (clouding of eyes).

Reducing Brain Cancer Risk

No proper guidelines are given to prevent brain cancer. You can decrease the level of its risk using the following tips.

  • Reduce or leave smoking
  • Avoid exposure to insecticides and pesticides
  • Don’t expose yourself to radiations unnecessarily
  • Avoid carcinogenic chemical exposure

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