Brain Tumor Conserns

You can find out the symptoms, survival rates, and different treatment options.

Symptoms and Causes

So first, if you think you have a tumor, look over the symptoms and see if any of this is happening to you.  The symptoms range from headaches to seizures.  There could be nausea and vomiting.  Also, if you have a brain tumor, there will be increased pressure in your head.  That is where the headaches can come from.  There is usually an excessive headache in the morning after sleeping with your head flat for a couple hours.  There could also be disrupted  brain function.  See the video below if you still don't quit understand.  Nobody quite understands how brain tumors can start, but we do know that brain tumors are not contagious.  You cannot just catch a brain tumor.  You do however have a higher risk of getting a brain tumor if it runs in your family.  If you have a parent or sibling diagnosed with a brain tumor, you have a greater risk of getting a brain tumor.

See my presentation below and you might get a better understanding of how cancer spreads.

Prezi

*turn sound on*

Stages and Metastasis

There isn't really a staging system to brain tumors.  There are grades of different tumors that doctors rank them as.  

  • Grade I:  Grade I tumors are not too serious.  They grow slowly and have an almost normal appearance when under a  microscope.  It is associated with long-term survival and can be easily removed with surgery.
  • Grade II:  Grade II tumors still grow pretty slow, but they look just a little abnormal under a microscope.  These can sometimes spread to nearby normal tissue.  
  • Grade III:  Grade III tumors are not always too different from grade II tumors.  The cells in grade III tumors are actively producing abnormal cells that can spread.
  • Grade IV:  Grade IV tumors reproduce abnormal cells rapidly.  They look very weird under a microscope and grow very easily.  Glioblastoma is the most common example of a grade IV tumor.

Metastasis is the process of your cancer spreading to other parts of the body through the blood stream.  Brain tumors usually are not metastasis.  Brain tumors usually stay in the central nervous system rather than spread to anywhere else in the body.  You don't have to worry about getting brain cancer anywhere else.

Treatment Options

All cancer can be treated three ways.  Sometimes they can be treated with basic surgery.  Sometimes people need radiation or chemo therapy.  I'll explain all three to you.  How they treat you depends on a few things.  They determine your treatment based on the grade of the tumor, its location in the brain, its size, and your age/general health.  

  • With surgery, doctors take out part of the scull and remove as much of the tumor as possible.  For some surgeries you are awake for part of the time.  During this time, the doctor will ask you questions like What is your name? or Can you say the alphabet?
  • With radiation therapy, it gets a little more complicated.  Radiation therapy is delivered through a machine.  It aim beams at the precise point of the tumor and shoots beams of high energy.  The high energy, or radiation, kills the cancerous cells.  
  • Chemotherapy is the use of anti- cancer drugs that slow the process.  It slows or even stops the rapid growth of dividing cancer cells.  Chemotherapy can be used for a few different thing.  It can be used as a primary treatment in destroying cancer cells.  It can be used before a different treatment to shrink a tumor.  It can also destroy remaining cancer cells and relieve advanced cancer symptoms.  

Survival Rates

The survival rates depend on the variable or your situation.  It can depend on the type of tumor.  It can depend on the location, size, and how far it has spread.  It can also depend on how old you are.  On average, people ages 0- 19 have a 66% survival rate in the first 5 years.  For adults over 75, they have a survival rate of 5%.  People with ependymoma and oligodendroglioma have a higher rate of survival.  People 20- 44 have a 85% and 81% chance of surviving the first 5 years.  People 55- 64 have a 69% and 45% chance of surviving the first 5 years.  

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