Dr. Aditya Gupta
World Brain Tumor Day 2020: The World Brain Tumor Day is observed on 8th June, every year. Brain tumour is the tenth leading cause of morbidity in India. The incidence of this deadly disease is rising and different kinds of tumours manifest at different age groups. As per the GLOBOCAN 2018 report, issued by the International Association of Cancer Registries (IARC) associated with the World Health Organization (WHO), in India over 28,000 cases of new brain tumour cases were reported annually. Around 24,000 patients lost their lives battling this neurological ailment. With recent advancements made in the field of neurosurgery, minimally invasive procedures for the treatment of Brain tumors have been emerging as one of the best methods of treatment. Endoscopic brain tumor surgical procedure allows neurosurgeons to easily find and treat the conditions that are deep within the brain or are accessible through the nose.
Primary and Secondary Brain Tumors
Categorised as primary and secondary, primary brain tumors are the ones that originate in the brain and most of them are benign. Secondary brain tumors are metastatic and occur when the cancer cells from other organs such as lungs and breast, spread to the brain. These are responsible for the majority of brain cancers. In adults, the most common types of brain tumours are gliomas (which develop from glial cells) and meningiomas (that develop on the membranes of the brain and spinal cord).
What are signs and symptoms of it?
Symptoms and signs of brain tumour depend on the size and location of the tumour. Some tumours can directly affect by invading the brain tissue while some cause pressure on the surrounding brain. Diagnosis of brain tumour begins with a physical exam and a look at the patient’s medical history. After the physical tests, the doctor will recommend further tests including MRI, CT scan, Steroids, Radiotherapy.
Major symptoms of brain tumour include:
– Blurred vision or double vision
– A change in mental functioning
– Difficulty in physical movements
Timely Treatment is Important
As the tumor grows and puts pressure on the skull and brain tissues, timely diagnosis and treatment can prevent further complications. The collection of abnormal cells in the brain, commonly known as brain tumors can be cancerous or non-cancerous. This, when grown, puts excess pressure on the skull leading to brain damage can be life threatening if timely action is not taken. Atleast 45% of the brain tumors are non-cancerous, and therefore timely treatment can lead to the patients having a normal survival and normal function.
How Cyberknife Surgery Helps in Treatment
Cyberknife M6 is performed in a non-invasive manner with a higher brain surgery recovery time done on an outpatient basis. The characteristics of M6 to pinpoint the exact location of the tumor in real time using 3-D imaging techniques during the treatment of brain tumor and ablating the tumor without any cut marks has proven outcomes to overtake the traditional methods of treatment. With the flexibility of the treatment to be done in 1 to 5 sessions each of 30 minutes duration provides comfortability to the patient and the maximum level of restricting the tumor from spreading further.
The main advantage of cyberknife radiation therapy is that it directly alters the individual deposits inside the brain without affecting the brain functioning. Also Whole Brain Reserve Therapy (WBRT) is reserved for those unfortunate patients who have too many deposits that cannot be treated with cyberknife or those who prefer multiple cyberknife. For treatment of metastasis such as melanoma, radiation therapy (cyberknife) may be the only option.
(The author is Director Neurosurgery, Agrim Institute of Neuroscience, Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon. Views Expressed are personal.)