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About Brain Tumour

0 The mere thought of someone close harbouring a brain tumour is devastating. Besides most brain tumour victims are children or adults in their prime of life. This not only makes it more poignant but also creates a need to look after such victims who can often, with the medical resources available, be restored to near normalcy.This, however, needs a multi-disciplinary approach, which is expensive and rarely available under one roof. Even after the completion of the hospital treatment (surgery, radiotherapy or chemotherapy), many patients require intensive rehabilitation at their homes and sometimes in special institutions.To understand more about the care of brain tumours, let's first understand the structure and function of the brain and the spinal cord, and what happens when there is a tumour in the brain:The brain and the spinal cord are the most vital parts of our body. They are made up of nerve cells (neurons) and supporting cells (Glial cells) that receive and send messages through nerves and control all the parts of our body.

What, then, is a brain tumour?

A brain tumour is a mass of abnormal tissue growing in any part of the brain. For some unknown reason, some brain cells multiply in an uncontrolled manner and form these tumours. These tumours can arise from any part of the brain, spinal cord or the nerves.Broadly these tumours can be divided into benign and malignant tumours.

Benign tumours grow slowly and never spread to other parts. But as they slowly increase in size they can cause pressure on the normal brain and interfere with mental and bodily functions. Some of the benign tumours known are: meningiomas, pituitary adenoma, craniopharyngioma, epidermoid cysts, neurocytoma, haemangioma, pilocytic astrocytoma, etc.

Malignant tumours or cancers are aggressive tumours that grow fast and infiltrate the surrounding brain and sometimes spread to the other parts of the brain or spine. There are various types of malignant brain tumours like High Grade Astrocytoma/Glioma, ependymoma, PNET, medulloblastoma, lymphoma, Germ cell tumours. With aggressive and timely treatment some of these can be cured.

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