Primary brain tumours (pituitary cancer, medulloblastomas, astrocytomas, meningiomas) not developed as metastasising tumours from other body parts represent about 2% of all malignant cancers. Brain cancer is primarily diagnosed in men, most often in children below 5 and adults above 60. Brain tumours are the second most common type of cancer in children; they are relatively rare in adults. The prognosis differs depending on tumour types.
About the disease
Due to its vital function the brain is protected by a bony cover – skull, and a so called blood-brain barrier formed by cells preventing penetration of adverse substances into the brain. Therefore, tumours of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord) are a special type, very different from other cancers. Similarly to other cancer types even brain tumours are benign or malignant, but both can inflict death as a result of compression to surrounding tissues and vital control centres. Over 50% are called gliomas – supporting nerve cell tumours.
The exact cause of the disease remains under investigations. The external environment may contribute to its development – radiation, chemical substances or viruses. About 5% of tumours occurring mainly in children are genetically-related.
Signs and symptoms
Due to the limited skull space, brain tumours compress healthy tissues causing a wide range of signs and symptoms depending on their location; they can even be life-threatening. Brain tumours may manifest as certain dysfunctions, commonly as epilepsy or intracranial hypertension (vomiting, severe headache, double-vision, drowsiness or even unconsciousness). Each person’s signs and symptoms are unique. The treatment is very complicated; a surgical intervention is only possible in some tumour sites and the use of chemotherapy is meaningless as the blood-brain barrier prevents penetration of cytostatic agents or other medications into the brain, so radiotherapy is often a choice of preference. Symptoms mentioned above should not be ignored or belittled.
Preventing brain cancer
Due to unknown causes it is impossible to establish appropriate preventative measures for brain cancer. It is recommended to follow principles of healthy lifestyle, to support the immune system and to avoid potential sources of negative impact – harmful effects of hormones, chemical substances and radiation.
Impact of the immune system on brain cancer
As the causes of brain cancer may be linked to lifestyle, healthy preventative precautions should be followed. Clearly, neglecting one thing in the body may negatively influence any organ including the brain. A well-functioning immune system protects the brain from distress, and this may include a lack of sleep or a great strain of the nervous system.
Studies - oncological diseases
Types of cancer
Liver cancer, Brain cancer, Hodgkin´s lymphoma, Cervical cancer, Kidney cancer, Leukemia, Lung cancer, Skin cancer, Uterine cancer, Prostate cancer, Breast cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Colon cancer, Bladder cancer, Ovarian cancer, Testicular cancer, Stomach cancer, Oesophageal cancer, Thymus cancer, Thyroid cancer