Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Secondary Brain Cancer Survival Rate

Types of brain tumors

Secondary Brain Cancer Survival Rate

First class of categorizing of brain tumors is based on whether they are benign or malignant in nature. Benign brain tumors do not consist of cancer cells and do not metastasize. The malignant brain tumors are composed of cancer cells. They are not limited to the tissue of origin and spread fast to the neighboring tissues and metastasize.

Brain tumors can also be classified as primary and secondary tumors. The primary tumors are those that originate within the cells of the brain. They could be cancerous or non cancerous. Secondary tumours are the metastasized cells having spread from some other part of the body to the brain and are obviously cancerous.

Causes of a brain tumor

Exact and definite causes of brain tumors are still not known and their reasons remain ambiguous. It is quite clear though that it is never contagious and a person cannot "catch it" from some one having a tumor.

Though the exact cause still eludes us, there are certain risk factors that increase the chances of one developing the tumor. Gender is a dominant risk factor. They are predominantly detected in males. Age too is a risk factor. Majority of the cases show tumor developing in people at the age of 60 and above. Also, children below the age of 8 years are more prone to develop it. Other risk factors include family history and exposure to radiations.

Usually it develops due to the abnormalities in genes that regulate the cell growth cycle resulting in uncontrolled and abnormal division and growth of cells. These abnormalities in the genes could be due to some rearrangements in the chromosome or due to direct alterations in the genes. These abnormalities are a result of cascade of events taking place at molecular and even biological levels.

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Certain genetic conditions like neurofibromatosis, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, retinoblastoma, etc. can augment the chances of developing tumors in the central nervous system. Genetic abnormalities causing brain tumors are rarely inherited. They are caused mainly due to various environmental factors and also due to various factors that can affect the genetic materials (like DNA) of the cells. Many chemicals are present that can alter the genes involved in restraining the development of tumors. Workers working in rubber manufacturing factories, oil refineries or as chemists are precariously exposed to such chemicals.

Also the patients who have been exposed to some kind of radiations in the past for treating some other malignancies are also capable of developing this condition.

Diagnosis and Treatment

They are generally diagnosed because of manifestation of certain symptoms and analysis of the neurological functions. The patient is initially tested in a neurological exam testing all the basic senses, balance, coordination and memory. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) is the prevalent technology used to diagnose a brain tumor. They are generally treated upon and efforts are put to reduce them to the maximum extent by surgery, radiotherapy (radiation treatment) or chemotherapy. These treatments are occasionally applied in combination's to produce maximum effect.

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