German Brain Tumour Association which is based in Leipzig started the observance of the World Brain Tumour Day to educate and raise awareness about brain tumours in the masses. The organisation was founded in the year 1998. People from more than 14 nations have so far registered in this organisation as members. They are either patients and their family members or health professionals and scientists.
Severity of brain tumours
Brain tumours are either benign or malignant in nature. Malignant tumour means cancer. While benign tumours get cured, complete removal of malignant tumours is very difficult. It grows at a faster rate than the benign tumours. Malignant tumours can be classified into grade I - grade IV depending upon the rate with which it is growing. Grade IV tumours grow extremely aggressive.
According to the International Association of Cancer Registries (IARC), more than 24,000 people die due to brain tumours every year. Each year 28,000 people get affected from brain tumours in India. The death rate of children and adults under age 40 is highest with brain tumour when compared to deaths of other types of cancer in this age group. 40% cancers which are in other parts of the body have chances to spread to the brain. This is called metastatic brain tumors. Brain tumour accounts for 26% of all cancer cases in children.
Causes and symptoms of brain tumour
The environmental risk factor for the development of brain tumours could be exposure to radiation during previous cancer treatments. High doses of X-rays and family history are also risk factors.
The symptoms of brain tumour depend on its location, size and type. People suffering from brain tumour can suffer from following:
- Seizures (fits)
- Problems in senses – hearing, vision, taste, smell
- Recurrent headaches
- Vomiting at later stage
- Memory loss
- Behavioral changes
- Imbalance while walking
If the diagnosis of brain tumour is done at an earlier stage, then it is curable. If it gets identified at a later stage then it can be life threatening. According to the grade, position and type of tumour, treatment takes place in the form of surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy etc. With days like World Brain Tumour Day, it’s good that people and families are finding avenues to get aware about the disease, its symptoms and treatments.