Even after extensive medical research and findings, no one has really able to find out what really causes brain tumors. So far, only a few known risk factors have been established after conducting thorough research. Children exposed to radiations are more likely to develop brain tumors. There are also people who have certain genetic conditions that cause them to develop brain tumors. As far as adults are concerned, between the ages of 65 and 80, they’re more likely to be diagnosed with a brain tumor as compared to the other age groups. But, what exactly is a brain tumor? Let’s find out.
What is a Brain Tumor?
A brain tumor is basically a mass or a collection of abnormal cells developing in your brain. Since your skull, which closes your brain organ, is rigid, any abnormal growth inside such a constrained space can be problematic for you.
Brain tumors can either be cancerous (malignant) or noncancerous (benign). When cancer grows inside your brain, there’s a pressure inside your skull that causes it to increase. This can lead to brain damage and can be life-threatening if not diagnosed and treated on time.
Brain tumors are divided into two main categories – primary and secondary. A primary brain tumor grows inside your brain and is benign. Whereas a secondary brain tumor, also called as a metastatic brain tumor, occurs when cancerous cells spread to your brain from a different organ such as your breast or your lung.
Facts About Brain Tumors
Here are some lesser-known facts about brain tumors that you need to know.
Don’t Freak Out with Headaches – They’re Only a Symptom
Most people usually get freaked out when they get a piercing headache. They begin jumping to conclusions without finding the real cause. Headaches are one of the strongest symptoms of a brain tumor but the ones brought by brain tumors aren’t average headaches. If a person is suffering from a brain tumor, he/she will have a persistent headache that tends to be worse in the morning and only improve throughout the day. The headaches caused by brain tumors are often linked with vomiting and nausea.
All Brain Tumors Are Not Malignant
As discussed above, brain tumors are either malignant or benign. Therefore, you need to understand that not all brain tumors are cancerous – they can be noncancerous too. Benign tumors grow very quickly inside or outside the brain and if diagnosed early, they can be treated. On the other hand, malignant tumors grow rapidly inside the brain and are, in most cases, incurable.
Benign Tumors Can Also Cause Problems
The reason why brain tumors can be extremely risky is that our skull is a rigid, confined space. Therefore, anything that grows or spreads inside or even just outside the brain can take up a lot of space and put pressure on the significant parts of the brain, causing a whole lot of issues. That’s why when it comes to brain tumors, people pay more attention, not to the type of tumor but the place where it is growing.
Sometimes, even benign tumors can cause a lot of problems. These problems may include difficulties with speech, loss of vision, weakness on one side of the body, or problems with understanding language. In the beginning, the symptoms can be subtle, especially if they are caused by a slow-growing tumor, a benign tumor. We would advise you to see a doctor immediately if you notice any of those changes happening to you.
Brain Tumors Can’t Escape the Skull
Brain tumors are unique and there’s a reason behind it. Unlike other tumors, they can’t escape your skull and spread to the other organs. Brain tumors do not have the same access to the bloodstream like tumors in other parts of your body do. Come to think of it, the brain per se is an extremely privileged part of your body. If it’s good at keeping things out, it is also good at keeping things in. Therefore, it doesn’t let the tumor cells spread to the other parts of your body and keeps them confined in the skull.
Cell Phones Don’t Cause Brain Tumors
You may have heard the popular myth about the cell phones causing brain tumors. Well, let us tell you, that’s a total myth. You do not need to worry about using your cell phones much because there’s no evidence that can prove that myth. Even expert doctors are not able to understand what really causes brain tumors. Cell phones surely do not cause them at all.
You Can’t Stop Brain Tumors from Developing
The truth is, you can’t do anything to prevent brain tumors from developing. Many people keep asking on a lot of forums if there’s anything they can do to stop brain tumors from developing. The answer to their question is ‘no.’ However, avoiding exposure to excess radiation whenever possible can help you from avoiding the chances of getting a brain tumor. Especially if you’re under the age of eighteen. People who opt for an MRI over a CT scan should avoid doing that. They should avoid getting exposure from the radiation as much as possible.