Brain Cancer – A Brief Overview

- Updated December 6, 2017

Brain Cancer – A Brief Overview Brain cancer is one the rarest yet most fatal diseases a human being could suffer. Statistics show that in the United States, the probability of an individual afflicted with brain cancer is 0.015% to 0.02%, which translates to 15 to 20 instances for every 100,000 persons. Reports also show that for patients who are aged 35 and below that endure from any kind of cancer, brain cancer is the leading cause of their deaths.

The brain is essentially made of various individual cells just like any other parts of the human body. Until one reaches approximately 7 years of age, the cells in the brain divide to comprise the person’s thinking cells that are called neurons. After 7 years old, a child’s brain cells cease to divide themselves permanently. At this stage, the neurons, which had multiplied during the previous years will be all the cells that the brain will require as the person matures.

Abnormality of the brain cells occurs when a cell continues to reproduce itself beyond this age. Head injuries or trauma are likely to trigger some transformation in the brain cells that makes it divide itself and grow abnormally. Brain cancer is the consequence of any abnormal growth in a person’s brain cells. Such irregular growths of brain cells eventually leads them to form into a mass that are normally referred to as brain tumors. Brain tumors may be malignant or benign. Malignant tumors are the cancerous type wherein the cells have the tendency to grow at a rapid pace and spread within the brain aggressively. These cancerous cells overpower their healthy counterparts by absorbing the nutrients and blood in the brain as well as taking over the space within the brain. Benign tumors are less threatening than malignant ones as the former have a slower rate of spreading, though these still pose a threat to the condition of the brain.

Brain tumors are classified into two types – the primary and the secondary. Primary brain tumors are those that develop originally within the brain. As previously mentioned, these tumors may be malignant or benign. Whether the tumor is cancerous or non-cancerous, one thing is certain in both instances, the tumor is likely to take over the space in the brain, hence may cause serious complications to the individual. A person with primary brain tumors are bound to suffer grave symptoms such as vision impairment or hearing loss, and may experience serious complications like a stroke or seizures. Secondary brain tutors, also known as metastatic, are tumors that originate from other parts of the body and moves up to the brain. Figures show that roughly 25% of tumors located in other parts of the body migrate to the brain in a process called metastasis. In the United States, the percentages are even between primary and secondary brain tumors (50/50) in the incidence of brain cancer.

If you believe that you are suffering from brain cancer, seek medical attention right away. The treatment of cancer patients involves a very complicated process such as undergoing surgery to remove the tumor in your brain. In case surgery is not possible, you still have the option of being subjected to radiation therapy or chemotherapy.

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