What is brain cancer?
Tumor means a tissue that forms in a place where it should not be in our body, or uncontrolled growth of any tissue in a place where it should be. According to this definition, lipomas and moles that we don't care much about in our body can also be included in the concept of a tumor. But, although not every tumor is fatal, there is an exceptional case of brain tissue in brain tumors. Benign tumors can also be fatal because the brain is located in a closed room inside the cranium. For this reason, although not all brain tumors are fatal, they must necessarily be kept under control and treated correctly.
What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?
Symptoms of brain tumor have very important role in the diagnosis of brain tumor. Good or malignant brain tumors cause an increase in pressure inside the cranium when they reach a certain size. Correspondingly, they can also push the brain to one side or occupy the tissue or nerves of the brain and disrupt its functions. The question of how to understand the symptoms of brain tumor is an issue that many people are wondering about. Symptoms of brain tumor are accompanied by increased intracranial pressure. An increase in intracranial pressure can also be understood by some symptoms. Headache, apathy (deceleration in movement and mimic), nausea, vomiting, epileptic seizures, weakness in some parts of your body depending on the location of the tumor in the brain, personality disorders, and deterioration of some talents (such as calculating and writing articles) are considered to be a symptom of brain cancer. One of the symptoms of brain tumor are hormonal disorders and associated clinical symptoms. For example, changes such as early puberty, hand and foot growth, menstrual cycle disorders, hyperthyroidism, cortisol deficiency or excessive cortisol should be paid attention. If you notice even one of the symptoms of brain tumor, you should definitely see a specialist doctor.
How is a brain tumor diagnosed?
The issue of how brain tumors are understood is quite important. The choice of a fully equipped hospital affects success in both diagnosis and treatment. A rough idea of the type of brain tumor is obtained with MRI that is gold standard for diagnosing a brain tumor, then whether it is brain tumor is understood via pathology laboratory examination. A detailed demonstration and identification of brain tumors using advanced radiological imaging methods are extremely important for planning treatment. Technological developments provide great convenience in diagnosing and identifying pathologies. “CT angiography” that is performed by giving a contrast agent to the patient, plays an important role in the diagnosis of brain vascular diseases. Owing to this, the structure of the vessels can be easily imaged. In the evaluation of brain tissue and diseases, the imaging method that comes into prominence is MRI that is “Magnetic Resonance”. While it is possible to obtain information only about anatomical and structural condition of the brain with standard MRI imaging, it is also possible to obtain information about metabolic, biochemical, and hemodynamic structure of the brain with new technologies. For the purposes of having information about the lesions present in the brain, it can be difficult, risky, and time-consuming to perform a biopsy using known methods. With advanced MRI imaging methods, it can be determined whether the suspected lesion in the brain is a tumor. Prevalence, type, metabolic-biochemical structure of the tumor, its relationship with areas and pathways that allow speech, vision and movement can be assessed using advanced MRI imaging methods such as Diffusion MRI, DTI MRI, Functional MRI, Perfusion MRI and MR spectroscopy. Data obtained via advanced MRI imaging methods allow determining the treatment approaches.
How is a brain tumor treated?
One of the most important parts of brain tumor treatment is that the treatment is personalized. Aim of brain tumor treatment is to fight the tumor and extend the life span as much as possible without disturbing the patient's quality of life. The most important factors in brain tumor surgery are the patient's age, general condition, and the patient's age, general condition whether there are additional problems that may affect the patient's decision. For this reason, a treatment private to every person is applied, and the risk of success increases. Treatment of malignant brain tumors is usually performed surgically. In addition to brain tumor surgery, sometimes chemotherapy is performed, sometimes radiotherapy is performed, or sometimes both of them are performed. The most important thing in brain tumor surgeries is that the surgery is performed by teams of specialists in brain tumors. Radiotherapy devices equipped with stereotaxic targeting systems can significantly improve the effectiveness of treatment, while reducing the possible side effects of brain tumor surgery on the one hand.
A brain biopsy is performed for tumors that cannot be removed surgically. In brain biopsy technique, biopsy is performed in the cases that type of the tumor which is located in depth and does not cause intracranial pressure increase is required to be learnt to designate how the treatment will be. Accordingly, 3D coordinates of the tumor are calculated from a small hole drilled near the tumor and it is taken with the help of a needle. On average, the patient is discharged after 1 day.
Microsurgical method is applied in the treatment of brain tumor. Microsurgical method is a procedure aimed at removing entire tumor. With microsurgical method, intracranial pressure is lowered, and regional etiology of the brain tumor can be reset. At the same time, microsurgery ensures that these areas are not damaged during surgery if the brain tumor is in a region that allows us to talk, see, or move, and minimizes the risks that may develop. For this reason, it is very important that the hospital chosen for the treatment of brain tumors uses advanced technology.
Other methods used to be able to completely remove the brain tumor by preserving intact brain tissue and to prevent permanent injuries and risks are as follows.
With neuronavigation, which is one of the brain tumor treatment options, the patient's film is loaded into the system and the most accurate approach to the tumor is determined before surgery. In the same way, the localization of structures located near the tumor is also determined during surgery.
Neuromonitorization: This method helps to greatly reduce facial or arm and leg paralysis that may occur after brain tumor surgery. Signal is taken from the electrodes placed on the patient's face, arms, and legs by the neurologist before starting the brain surgery. When there is a drop in the signal, the surgeon is informed and warned that it is in sensitive area.
Intraoperative Ultrasonography: Brain ultrasonography is performed during brain tumor surgery, and it is calculated how much of the tumor has been removed. Intraoperative Ultrasonography reduces the risk of residue, especially in tumors that are difficult to separate from brain tissue.
Endoscopy: In brain tumor surgery, it provides large angle of vision from a small area especially in pituitary tumors and intraventricular tumors in the area where narrow corridors are used.
Gliolan Staining Technique: The patient is given a liquid drink before surgery. In surgery, normal brain tissue and tumor tissue are seen in different colors with special filter of surgical microscope. With this method, normal brain tissue damage is minimized, and removal of the tumor is at the maximum level, and the patient's risk of suffering from neurological loss is reduced.
Awake craniotomy: The patient is operated by keeping awake in the surgery of sensitive areas that are called speech center "motor area" and are responsible for arm and leg movements. In this way, the person's speech and arm-leg movements can be controlled from moment to moment. Thanks to this, the success of surgery increases.
Intraoperative CT: Computed tomography can be performed during the operation, and current situation during the operation can be viewed. This technology reduces the risk of repetition of the surgery.
What should be considered after brain tumor treatment?
The type and location of the tumor are very important in the treatment of brain tumors. Sometimes, a benign tumor settles in quite difficult and dangerous brain area, and sometimes a malignant tumor may recur even though it is excised early. If we accept the removal of the tumor by surgery as tumor treatment, then patients should undergo regular physician's checks more often at the beginning and less often at later times, and brain MRI should be performed for radiological evaluations at certain regular intervals. Apart from these routine follow-up schemes, patients should also be monitored for healing at the wound sites and the risks of having seizures and should use seizure medications without interruption.
Why should I have brain tumor treatment at Memorial Health Group?
Brain tumor surgery cannot be classified as easy, difficult, big or small. Every brain tumor needs to be operated with maximum care. In brain surgeries, temporary or permanent risks are monitored more frequently different from other branch surgeries. Brain tumor operations should be performed in an equipped hospital by an experienced team, using all the possibilities of high technology. These three important components are also available at Memorial Hospitals. For this reason, applications can be made to Memorial Health Group Hospitals for brain tumor surgeries with peace of mind.