A collection or mass of abnormal cells in your brain is called brain tumor. Your skull, which encloses your brain is very rigid. Any unusual growth in such a restricted space can cause disturbances. Brain tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign) and when any of these tumors grow, they cause in increasing pressure inside the skull. This can cause brain damage which can be life threatening.
Brain cancers are mainly categorized as primary or secondary. Primary brain tumors originate in your brain and many of them are benign. On the other hand, secondary brain tumor, which is also known as metastatic brain tumor occurs when cancer cells spread to the brain from some other organs in the body such as lung or breast.
Risk Factors for a Brain Tumor
Family History: Only around 5 to 10 percent of all cancers is reported to be hereditary or genetically inherited. In case several people in your family have been diagnosed with a brain tumor, you are advised to consult your doctor. They can recommend a genetic counselor for you.
Age: Risk of maximum brain tumors increases with the age.
Chemical Exposure: If you are exposed to certain cancer causing chemicals in the workplace, the risk of brain cancers increases. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has released a list of potential cancer-causing chemicals found in workplaces.
Exposure to Radiation: People exposed to ionizing radiation are more prone to the risk of brain tumors. You can be exposed to ionizing radiation through high radiation cancer therapies.
No History of Chicken Pox: According to the American Brain Tumor Association people who have a history of childhood chicken pox are less likely to get brain tumors.
Diagnosis of Brain Tumor
A physical examination and a thorough analysis of your medical history are the first steps in diagnosis. The physical exam involves a very detailed examination. Doctors test to see if your cranial nerves are intact. Cranial nerves originate in your brain. CT Scan, MRI, Angiography, Brain Scan, Skull X-Rays and last but not the least, Biopsy are various techniques used to diagnose brain tumors.
Australia hosts some of the best brain tumor surgeons who are using the most advanced techniques to remove and cure the tumors. The latest developments in this field include various laser techniques that are less painful and get cured in less time.