The development of cancer cells in the brain and which affects the functions of the brain, is referred to as brain cancer.
Symptoms of brain cancer
- Headaches which tend to be worse in the mornings
- A considerable decline in cognition and memory which leads to a general deterioration and difficulties of the daily life
- Changes in personality such as increased aggression and anger, mood swings, paranoia, concentration deficits and an increased sex drive
- Deficits in social relationships
- Convulsions, body trembles and distortions with varying intensity, episodes of unconsciousness and irregular staring in the air.
- Blurred vision, flashing lights and other vision problems
- Ringing in the ears, loss of hearing and other ear problems
- Slurred or slow speech, incomprehensible communication and other language difficulties
- Abnormal walk and difficulties in maintaining body posture
- Vomiting in early morning along with nausea
Causes of brain cancer
- There are no known causes of brain cancer.
- A family history of brain cancer; exposure to certain chemicals and high amounts of radiation; a genetic predisposition to the disease and excessive smoking increases the vulnerability to developing brain cancer
Treatment of brain cancer
Treatment for brain cancer involves a number of side effects. Hence one must consult the oncologist to come up with the best treatment method as per individual patient needs.
- Surgery can be used to remove the cancer tumors from the brain
- Chemotherapy that involves the intravenous use of special cancer killing drugs may also be employed in addition to surgery
- Radiation therapy involves the use of intense rays of radiation that are directly to destroy only the cancer cells that cause the brain cancer
Brain Cancer Survival Rate
The survival rate for brain cancer refers to a percentage of individuals who have been afflicted with a particular stage and type of brain cancer and have survived the condition for a specific number of years after being diagnosed. Generally most survival rates are based on the five year survival rate which indicates the survival rate of those patients who have lived for at least a period of five years after diagnosis and are currently free of the disease, or are undergoing treatment or elicit only a few symptoms of brain cancer.
It is important to note that the survival rate cannot be generalized. Each individual case of brain cancer is different and has differential survival rate. The survival rate for brain cancer is dependent on a number of factors such as:
- The stage and type of brain cancer
- The grade, location and size of brain cancer
- The overall health of the patient
There are different ways to calculate the survival rate for brain cancer. In most cases, the relative five year survival rate is used. This refers to a comparison of survival rate for brain cancer patients for a period of five years against the general population that do not have the condition, but have similar characteristics such as age, etc.
The relative five year survival rates as per age and sex are listed below:
- 33.5 % for Caucasian women
- 37.5 % for African-American women
- 32.1 % for Caucasian men
- 37.7 % for African-American men