Tags: brain cancer | glioma | tumor | cure | symptoms

Brain Cancer: Is There Any Cure or Do We Get Only Symptomatic Relief?

Tuesday, 04 March 2014 07:29 PM

Cancer is a big problem affecting our society and there is no permanent cure for this disease.

Medical science offers only temporary or symptomatic relief in most cases. Any abnormal growth in the brain tissue is called tumor. Brain tumors are of two types—benign or malignant. Benign tumors are restricted to one space while malignant tumors start spreading to other normal tissues, thus affecting them. Based on the brain structures involved, tumors in the brain or brain cancers are named as glioma, meningioma, medulloblastoma, etc.

Glioma is the tumor affecting the glial cells in the brain. Glioma is the most common type of primary malignant brain tumor or brain cancer. Glioma includes astrocytoma glioma, ependymomas, and oligodendro glioma types.

Most of the malignant tumors in brain cancers are secondary tumors. It means that these brain tumors originate in some other organ than the brain and then spread to the brain. These brain cancer tumors strive on blood for nutrition. These tumors put pressure on the nearby structures causing lot of abnormal symptoms. Symptoms may also arise due to malfunctioning of the affected area. The symptoms of brain cancer may include sleep disturbances, nausea, vomiting, headache, loss of vision, etc. Some other symptoms are seizures (fits), memory problems, dizziness, hallucinations, and loss of coordination.

The most common cure for primary malignant brain tumor is to operate and remove it. Surgery can prevent the spread of brain cancer to other nearby brain and spinal cord areas. Removing the tumor can alleviate symptoms by relieving the pressure in the brain and giving temporary cure. After resection of this primary brain cancer, radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment follows. These therapies can provide symptomatic cure. Unfortunately the symptoms reappear as the growth happens again.
Secondary brain cancer is more serious as it results by spreading to the brain from other sites. The management in these cases aims at alleviating the symptoms and prolonging the life. The cure, or rather, the outcome in brain cancer depends upon a lot of factors like the type, size, position, and grade of tumor and the age of the patient. As per statistics from the U.K., 8 out of 10 children with astrocytoma (a type of glioma) live for more than five years. Two out of 3 children diagnosed with ependymoma (another type of glioma) live for more than five years. Four out of 10 children with other types of glioma live for more than five years.  
People often hope for permanent cure from these problems while medical science is still helpless. Research is being conducted extensively to find a permanent cure for this problem.

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Brain cancers like glioma and meningioma are the abnormal growths in the brain. These tumors produce symptoms like headaches, vision loss, fits, etc., which can affect normal living. To date, there is no permanent cure for malignant tumors.
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Tuesday, 04 March 2014 07:29 PM
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