Know Top 10 Myths And Facts About Brain Tumor
While information about cancer is present all over the net, the key question is how authentic it is. And this is the reason, why numerous myths surround the causes, risk factors, symptoms and treatment of brain tumor. So to give you an idea about the key facts of brain tumor, Dr. Amit Wagh, Brain & Spine Surgeon, Sparsh Hospital Pune has debunked some of the common myths about brain cancer. Read on to know what they are!
Myth 1: The doctors suspect I have a tumor in the brain. This means I have brain cancer.
Fact 1: Not all brain tumors are cancerous. Some tumors are benign, which means they do not spread to other organs or damage surrounding cells or tissues, whereas others can be cancerous in nature.
Myth 2: People working in high radiation environment get brain cancer eventually.
Fact 2: Two to three people per 100,000 are diagnosed with brain cancers, making it one of the least common cancers in India. There is no research evidence about radiation and brain cancer but long exposures to radiation can have severe negative effects on the overall health and hence, should not be treated lightly.
Myth 3: All brain tumors are the same.
Fact 3: All brain tumor are NOT the same because there over 120 types of brain tumors. Moreover, the types of brain cancers are characterized based on the size, location, cell of origin and grade of tumors.
Myth 4: All brain tumor manifests due to abnormal behavior of the brain cells.
Fact 4: There are two kinds of tumors; ones that originate and grow in the brain, which are called primary tumors. Secondary tumors also termed as metastatic tumors, affect certain parts of the body such as lung, breast, kidney, stomach, and intestine and spread to the brain gradually. Secondary tumors are more frequent than primary tumors. Most tumors do not originate from nerve cells but from cells supporting them.
Myth 5: All brain tumor patients have the same signs and symptoms.
Fact 5: The symptoms vary depending on the grade of the tumor. In the case of higher grades of brain cancers the signs and symptoms present early and disturb many brain functions.
Myth 6: Frequent headaches and blurred vision indicate brain cancer.
Fact 6: While persistent headaches are certainly one of the symptoms of brain cancer, only clinical tests can confirm any neurological condition. The doctor may advise a CT scan followed by different types of MRI scans to diagnose it.
Myth 7: Young people don’t get brain tumors.
Fact 7: Age is not a factor that determines the risk of brain tumors or cancers since newborns have been recorded to have tumors. However, tumors are different in children and adults, involve different cells of origin and location in the brain, hence have a varied spectrum of pathology and presentation.
Myth 8: All brain tumors are the same and require standard treatment in the form of brain surgery.
Fact 8: There are multiple treatment procedures for brain cancers which are determined by the type/grade of cancers, age, and general fitness. For grade I and II tumors, surgical removal and regular follow-up with MRI may be sufficient. In the case of grade III and IV, administering radiation therapy and chemotherapy kills the malignant tumors.
Myth 9: Sleeping with a mobile phone next to your head can cause brain tumors and cancers.
Fact 9: Cellphones emit radio-frequency energy, which is absorbed by our tissues but does not damage our DNA. Their only effect is causing a slight rise in body temperature. As of now, there is no statistically proven a link to brain tumors from mobile phone usage. The only proven risk factor for brain cancers is a mutation, which can occur either at birth or develop during a person’s lifetime.
Myth 10: Once treated, brain tumors do not recur.
Fact 10: Cancer can recur, hence post-treatment follow-up is crucial to identify recurrence of cancer. Be aware of risks, long-term side effects of the treatment procedures and be watchful of persisting common symptoms.
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