What are the Symptoms of Brain Cancer

Brain tumor

Specialist medicine understands a brain tumor or brain tumor to be one Tumor in the area of ​​the brain itself or in the area of ​​the Meninges. These can be tumors that have developed primarily in the brain, but also metastases from tumors in other organs (e.g. lung tumors). The tumors occurring in different places in different forms can both benign as well as malignant be. Children are just as affected as adults of any age. According to the current medical status, early detection or prevention is not possible. A brain tumor often appears without warning and manifests itself through various factors such as headaches, epileptic seizures, changes in behavior, brain disorders and visual disturbances. These factors can also be signs of other illnesses; a prompt clarification by the doctor is necessary.

Symptoms caused by brain tumors

A brain tumor usually manifests itself through a series of symptoms that become significantly worse if left untreated. However, there are also brain tumors that do not cause symptoms for a very long time. First signs for a benign or malignant brain tumor can be:

  • a headache
  • Convulsions and twitching (epileptic fits)
  • Nausea and vomiting without gastrointestinal disease
  • Visual disturbances
  • Symptoms of paralysis and difficulties in coordination
  • Speech disorders
  • hormonal disorders
  • Decrease in memory and brain performance
  • Personality changes

The symptoms occur in both malignant and benign tumors. And can also be on a Relapse indicate after tumor treatment.

Various diagnostic methods for suspected brain tumors

Hardened in the detailed First consultation with the doctor and at one neurological examination the doctors use the suspicion of a possible brain tumor various examination methods for diagnostics. The most important are

  • Computed tomography (CT)
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

Both performed with X-rays CT an image of the brain is created in cross-sectional images and it can be determined whether a tumor or, for example, calcification or bleeding is present. The one created with magnetic fields MRI shows much more detailed slice images and can show significantly smaller tumors than the CT.

Histological examination for precise determination of the tumors

In order to precisely determine and classify the tumor and thus initiate a tailor-made treatment, a tissue examination under the microscope is necessary. For this purpose, the neurosurgeon removes it as part of an open operation or a biopsy with special cannulas one Tissue sample. This is followed by a precise tissue examination by the neuropathologist to determine the type of tumor and whether it is a benign or malignant tumor. Since the individual tumors show very different growth behavior and the prognoses for the healing process are very different, the exact one is Classification of the removed tissue extremely important for the further course of action of the treating physicians.

The four different grades in the diagnosis of a brain tumor

If a tumor is found during the tissue examination, the next step is what is known as the one Graduation. The examining neuropathologist determines whether the tumor is benign or malignant in various degrees. The basis is the criteria established by the WHO (World Health Organization) for the Classification of tumors of the nervous system into four grades:

  • Grade I: benign with slow growth
  • Grade II: no longer completely benign
  • Grade III: malignant
  • Grade IV: very vicious, rapidly growing

The more malignant the primary tumor, the faster it grows and the more it grows (infiltrates) into the brain tissue, the worse the prognosis for a cure.

Different methods and concepts of tumor treatment

Since tumors in the brain area can form in a wide variety of places, develop very differently and the prognosis varies accordingly Treatment very varied. Possible treatments are

  • surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiotherapy
  • TTF (electrical tumor therapy fields)
  • Immunotherapy
  • Combination of the different procedures

The most common method of treatment is that surgery. Depending on the type, size and location of the brain tumor, the operation takes several hours. Surgical removal can often cure benign tumors. Depending on the fine tissue findings (histology), one often closes in malignant brain tumors chemotherapy and or radiotherapy. Especially in the area of ​​brain tumors with their often complicated findings, the research and development of new therapeutic approaches is constantly in flux. In some cases, "radiosurgery" is used as a sole means Gamma knife or by Cyber ​​Knife possible. For tumors such as the particularly malignant and aggressively growing glioblastomas, additional treatments can be used AC fields (TTF) can be applied. New treatment approaches like this are still in the trial phase Immunotherapy.

Neurological, oncological and neuro-oncological rehabilitation for brain tumors

In principle, outpatient rehab for brain tumors that have led to neurological disorders is just as possible as day-care or in-patient. In the case of a benign (benign) brain tumor, neurological rehabilitation usually follows; in the case of a malignant (malignant) tumor such as gliablastoma, either an oncological or a neurological one.

In the neurological rehab the focus is primarily on the diagnosis and therapy of mental deficits caused by the brain tumor, impairments of fine motor skills, paralysis as well as balance and speech disorders.

In the oncological rehab Again, health and psychological strengthening and strengthening after cancer surgery and chemotherapy are in the foreground.

There are also rehab clinics that combine both approaches in terms of their services and one neuro-oncological rehabilitation including physiotherapy and occupational therapy as well as speech therapy, neuro-psychology and physical therapy. Rehabilitation is optional as a follow-up rehabilitation procedure (AHB) no later than 14 days after discharge from the operating clinic or as a healing method possible after the complete treatment including surgery and subsequent radiation therapy and / or chemotherapy. In each individual case, the attending physician will carefully weigh up with you which type of rehab is the most promising in order to ensure optimal care.

Last changed on: 11/20/2018

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