Brain Cancer Essay
The body normally forms new cells only when they are needed to replace old or damaged ones. If something happens to disturb this controlled process, abnormal or excessive cells are produced. When this occurs a tumor is developed. This is known as cancer. When a tumor is developed on the brain, it is called a brain tumor or brain cancer. Brain tumors can be benign or malignant (benign being not cancerous and malignant being cancerous). Both types can be deadly when dealing with the brain. Benign brain tumors consist of very slow growing cells. They have distinct borders and rarely spread to other locations. When viewed under a microscope, the cells of a benign tumor have an almost normal appearance. Even though these tumors sound harmless they can be life-threatening when located in such a vital area. Since the skull is unable to expand when the tumor grows it puts pressure on the brain. This results in damaged brain tissues and if left untreated a person could die. A malignant tumor is a tumor that could potentially invade and destroy important tissues and cells.
They can also spread to other parts of the body (metastasize). Brain tumors can
Later symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever, change in pulse, and trouble breathing. Mental changes may also occur such as difficulty in communication and speech. In general symptoms greatly depend on the location of the tumor. For example if the tumor is on the occipital lobe, you would have problems with your vision. Treatment of a tumor depends on its location and type, but surgical removal of the tumor if the primary treatment for cancer. Some tumors can be removed without harm to any part of the brain while others are in areas that make surgical removal impossible. Most tumors are treated with a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. A new procedure is being tried called gamma knife, which is a type of radio surgery. It uses precise radiation to isolate and kill the tumor.
One positive aspect of this procedure is that it limits the amount of radiation that the entire brain receives so less normal brain cells are destroyed. Some Statistics ✓ Within the next year, over 100,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with brain cancer. ✓ Brain tumors are the second leading cause of death in the age group 15-34. ✓ Brain tumors are the second fastest growing cause of cancer death among those over age 65. ✓ Approximately 44 percent of all primary brain tumors are benign. ✓ Unlike most benign tumors when located on the brain they can cause death. ✓ Because of their location brain, tumors are difficult to treat. ✓ Brain cancer research is underfunded. ✓ The cause of brain cancer is still unknown. ✓ The cure rate for brain cancer is lower than that of most other types of cancer.