Recent studies by the American Cancer Society shows that the death rates from cancer have lowered significantly in recent years. It is now 20% lower than its peak in 1991. While scientists still have a long way to go, there has been a lot of advances in technology.
One of the surgical advances that has helped to treat brain cancer is deep brain stimulation (DBS). Recent ClearPoint technology has made DBS much more available to a wider range of patients. This type of neurosurgery is performed with lasers and proves to be much quicker and much less painful than traditional surgery.
There are many types of brain tumors that you can get. Here is a brief description of the different types of tumors and their symptoms:
- Acoustic Neuromas. It’s official name is vestibular schwannoma. This tumor grows in Schwann cells and is most common in middle age. Their primary symptom is loss of hearing, but the larger ones will also cause headaches, vomiting, and altered consciousness. Another symptom of acoustic neuromas is neck pain. It can be treated by surgery and radiation therapy.
- Astrocytomas. These originate in glial cells in the cerebellum. They rarely leave the brain, but will sometimes spread to the spinal cord. There are several different types and grades of astrocytomas that can form. They can form at any age, although the more severe cases are generally found in adults. One can function perfectly for years with astrocytomas. They can be treated either through surgery or therapy.
- Glioblastoma multiforme. These are the most common types of brain tumors found in humans. They are the highest grade of astrocytoma and are very dangerous since they spread quickly. It can cause a wide variety of symptoms, including seizures, vomiting, headaches, and hemiparesis (weakness on one side of the body). They are extremely difficult to treat and different cases require different treatments. Some of the more common types of treatments include surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy.
- Meningioma. This is an array of tumors that develops from the meninges in the central nervous system. In most cases, they are benign. Symptoms that occur include weakness, focal seizures, and intracranial pressure. It is commonly observed, but in cases of malignancy, surgery or radiation may be performed.
- Pituitary tumors. Pituitary adenomas are tumors that are located in the pituitary gland. This results in hyperpituitarism which means that prolactin, adrenocorticotropic hormones, and growth hormones are over secreted. This will also cause headaches and also manifest in depression, anxiety, apathy, and emotional instability.