1. Brain tumors can grow on a variety of tissue. They can develop directly on the brain cells; on the membranes that surround the brain, which are known as meninges; on the nerves of the brain; or on glands. Studies have shown that cell phones and wireless devices do not cause brain tumors.
2. There are many different kinds of tumors. Brain tumors are classified based on their location, tissue type, and whether or not they are cancerous. Even noncancerous tumors can be dangerous. And simply because a tumor starts out as nonaggressive does not mean that it will continue to be so.
3. Brain tumors can cause inflammation, put pressure on specific parts of the brain, and increase pressure within the skull. Exposure to radiation can increase a person’s risk of getting brain tumors, though only if it is intensive exposure such as radiation therapy to treat brain cancer. A family history of brain tumors also puts a person more at risk for developing brain tumors as they get older.
4. Anyone can get a brain tumor, but the majority of diagnosed people are sixty or older. Symptoms of brain tumors include headaches that may be worse in the morning and get better in a few hours. Muscular difficulties may arise, including a loss of coordination, weakness in the limbs, and difficulty walking.
5. Exactly what symptoms occur largely depend on what part of the brain is being affected by the tumor. Other common symptoms include a loss of feeling in the limbs or a painful tingling sensation, difficulty speaking, mental confusion, and difficulty reading or understanding others.
6. Other known symptoms affect a person’s entire body. These symptoms include nausea, vertigo, loss of balance, dizziness, and fatigue. Other people have reported a personality change, seizures, vomiting, blurred vision and sleepiness. While all of these symptoms indicate a brain tumor, a medical professional will need to run some tests before they can make an official diagnosis.
7. If the tumor is small and easy to separate from the surrounding tissue, it can be completely removed with surgery. If it is not possible to remove the entire tumor, part of it may be taken. Even a partial removal can help with symptoms by relieving pressure on the brain. Some surgeries may be risky, depending on the location of the tumor. If it is close to the optic nerve, for instance, vision loss may result from surgery.
8. If surgery is too risky, or if only part of the tumor can be removed, radiation therapy may be used to target the remaining part of the tumor. Radiation comes with its own side effects, largely depending on how large of a dose you receive. Common side effects include fatigue and headaches. Chemotherapy can also be used to treat tumors, either in oral form or intravenously. Hair loss, nausea, and vomiting are all common side effects of chemotherapy.
9. Physical and speech therapy may be needed after treatment in order to regain lost motor skills or deal with difficulties speaking. Changes in memory and thinking are often observed after treatment. Tutoring is available to help people, particularly school age children, adapt to these changes.