Brain tumor occurs when abnormal cells form within the brain. All types of brain tumors may produce symptoms that vary depending on the part of the brain involved. These may include headaches, seizures, problem with vision, vomiting, and mental changes. The headache is classically worst in the morning and goes away with vomiting. More specific problems may include difficulty in walking, speaking and with sensation. As the disease progresses unconsciousness may occur.
Treatment may include some combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
- Surgery: complete or partial resection of the tumor with the objective of removing as many tumor cells as possible.
- Radiotherapy: the most commonly used treatment for brain tumors; the tumor is irradiated with beta, x rays or gamma rays.
- Chemotherapy: is a treatment option for cancer, however it is seldom used to treat brain tumors as the blood and brain barrier prevents the drugs from reaching the cancerous cells. Chemotherapy can be thought of as a poison that prevents the growth and division of all cells in the body including cancerous cells. This causes the significant side effects experienced by patients undergoing chemotherapy.