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Treatment of Brain tumor

Homeopathic Treatment of Brain Tumor

Brain tumor is an intracranial solid neoplasm, a tumor (defined as an abnormal growth of cells) within the brain or the central spinal canal.

Brain tumors include all tumors inside the cranium or in the central spinal canal. They are created by an abnormal and uncontrolled cell division, usually in the brain itself, but also in lymphatic tissue, in blood vessels, in the cranial nerves, in the brain envelopes (meninges), skull, pituitary gland, or pineal gland. Within the brain itself, the involved cells may be neurons or glial cells. Brain tumors may also spread from cancers primarily located in other organs (metastatic tumors).

Causes of Brain Tumor:

We don't know exactly what causes brain tumors, but studies do suggest that there may be many factors that play a role in their development. Risk factors for brain tumors include:

  • Exposure to radiation
  • Family history of certain genetic disorders like neurofibromatosis, tuberous sclerosis, Von Hippel-Lindau disease, and Li-Fraumeni syndrome
  • Having a compromised immune system (more so associated with CNS lymphomas and people infected with AIDS)

Symptoms of Brain Tumor:

The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor vary greatly and depend on the brain tumor's size, location and rate of growth.

General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include:

• New onset or change in pattern of headaches

• Headaches that gradually becomes more frequent and more severe

• Unexplained nausea or vomiting

• Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision

• Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg

• Difficulty with balance

• Speech difficulties

• Confusion in everyday matters

• Personality or behavior changes

• Seizures, especially in someone who doesn't have a history of seizures

• Hearing problems

Types of Brain Tumor:

Brain tumors can be classified into two general groups: primary and secondary.

Primary Brain Tumors:

Tumors that originate within brain tissue are known as primary brain tumors. Primary brain tumors are classified by the type of tissue in which they arise. The most common brain tumors are gliomas, which begin in the glial (supportive) tissue. There are several types of gliomas, including the following:

  • Astrocytomas: They arises from small, star-shaped cells called astrocytes. They may grow anywhere in the brain or spinal cord. In adults, astrocytomas most often arise in the cerebrum. In children, they occur in the brain stem, the cerebrum, and the cerebellum. A grade III astrocytoma is sometimes called anaplastic astrocytoma. A grade IV astrocytoma is usually called glioblastomamultiforme.
  • Oligodendrogliomas: They arises in the cells that produce myelin, the fatty covering that protects nerves. These tumors usually arise in the cerebrum. They grow slowly and usually do not spread into surrounding brain tissue.
  • Ependymomas: They usually develop in the lining of the ventricles. They may also occur in the spinal cord. Although these tumors can develop at any age, they are most common in childhood and adolescence.

There are other types of brain tumors that do not begin in glial tissue. Some of the most common are described below:

  • Meningiomas: They grow from the meninges. They are usually benign. Because these tumors grow very slowly, the brain may be able to adjust to their presence; meningiomas may grow quite large before they cause symptoms. They occur most often in women between 30 and 50 years of age.
  • Schwannomas: These are benign tumors that arise from Schwann cells, which produce the myelin that protects peripheral nerves. Acoustic neuromas are a type of schwannoma. They occur mainly in adults. These tumors affect women twice as often as men.
  • Craniopharyngiomas: They develop in the region of the pituitary gland near the hypothalamus. They are usually benign; however, they are sometimes considered malignant because they can press on or damage the hypothalamus and affect vital functions. These tumors occur most often in children and adolescents.
  • Germ cell tumors: They arise from primitive (developing) sex cells, or germ cells. The most frequent type of germ cell tumor in the brain is a germinoma.
  • Pineal region tumors: They occur in or around the pineal gland, a tiny organ near the center of the brain. The tumor can be slow growing (pineocytoma) or fast growing (pineoblastoma). The pineal region is very difficult to reach, and these tumors often cannot be removed.

Secondary Brain Tumors:

Secondary brain tumors are tumors caused from cancer that originates in another part of the body. These tumors are not the same as primary brain tumors.

The spread of cancer within the body is called metastasis. Cancer that spreads to the brain is the same disease and has the same name as the original (primary) cancer. For example, if lung cancer spreads to the brain, the disease is called metastatic lung cancer because the cells in the secondary tumor resemble abnormal lung cells, not abnormal brain cells.

Treatment for secondary brain tumors depends on where the cancer started and the extent of the spread as well as other factors, including the patient's age general health, and response to previous treatment.

Diagnosis of Brain Tumor:

  • A neurological exam: A neurological exam may include, among other things, checking your vision, hearing, balance, coordination and reflexes. Difficulty in one or more areas may provide clues about the part of your brain that could be affected by a brain tumor.
  • Imaging tests: Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is commonly used to help diagnose brain tumors. In some cases a dye may be injected through a vein in your arm before your MRI. A number of specialized MRI scans — including functional MRI, perfusion MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy — may help your doctor evaluate the tumor and plan treatment. Other imaging tests may include computerized tomography (CT) and positron emission tomography (PET)
  • Biopsy: A biopsy can be performed as part of an operation to remove the brain tumor, or a biopsy can be performed using a needle. A stereotactic needle biopsy may be done for brain tumors in hard to reach areas or very sensitive areas within your brain that might be damaged by a more extensive operation. Your neurosurgeon drills a small hole, called a burr hole, into your skull. A thin needle is then inserted through the hole. Tissue is removed using the needle, which is frequently guided by CT or MRI scanning. The biopsy sample is then viewed under a microscope to determine if it is cancerous or benign. This information is helpful in guiding treatment.

Treatment of Brain Tumor:

Homeopathic Treatment of Brain Tumor:

Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat brain tumor but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to cure brain tumor symptoms that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints.

Surgery:

If the brain tumor is located in a place that makes it accessible for an operation, your surgeon will work to remove as much of your brain tumor as possible. In some cases, tumors are small and easy to separate from surrounding brain tissue, which makes complete surgical removal possible. In other cases, tumors can't be separated from surrounding tissue or they're located near sensitive areas in your brain, making surgery risky. In these situations your doctor may try to remove as much of the tumor as is safe. Even removing a portion of the brain tumor may help reduce your signs and symptoms. In some cases only a small biopsy is taken to confirm the diagnosis.

Radiation therapy:

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams, such as X-rays or protons, to kill tumor cells. Radiation therapy can come from a machine outside your body (external beam radiation), or, in very rare cases, radiation can be placed inside your body close to your brain tumor (brachytherapy).

External beam radiation can focus just on the area of your brain where the tumor is located, or it can be applied to your entire brain (whole brain radiation). Whole brain radiation is most often used to treat cancer that has spread to the brain from some other part of the body.

Side effects of radiation therapy depend on the type and dose of radiation you receive. In general it can cause fatigue, headaches and scalp irritation.

Radiosurgery:

Stereotactic radiosurgery is not a form of surgery in the traditional sense. Instead, radiosurgery uses multiple beams of radiation to give a highly focused form of radiation treatment to kill the tumor cells in a very small area. Each beam of radiation isn't particularly powerful, but the point where all the beams meet — at the brain tumor — receives a very large dose of radiation to kill the tumor cells.

Radiosurgery is typically done in one treatment, and in most cases you can go home the same day. Side effects may include fatigue, headache and nausea.

Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill tumor cells. Chemotherapy drugs can be taken orally in pill form or injected into a vein (intravenously). The chemotherapy drug used most often to treat brain tumors is temozolomide (Temodar), which is taken as a pill. Many other chemotherapy drugs are available and may be used depending on the type of cancer.

 

Another type of chemotherapy can be placed during surgery. When removing all or part of the brain tumor, your surgeon may place one or more disk-shaped wafers in the space left by the tumor. These wafers slowly release a chemotherapy drug over the next several days.

Chemotherapy side effects depend on the type and dose of drugs you receive. Chemotherapy can cause nausea, vomiting and hair loss.

Targeted drug therapy:

Targeted drug treatments focus on specific abnormalities present within cancer cells. By blocking these abnormalities, targeted drug treatments can cause cancer cells to die.

One targeted drug therapy used to treat a type of brain cancer called glioblastoma is bevacizumab (Avastin). This drug, given through a vein (intravenously), stops the formation of new blood vessels, cutting off blood supply to a tumor and killing the tumor cells.

The targeted drug everolimus (Afinitor) is used to treat a benign brain tumor that occurs in people with a genetic disorder called tuberous sclerosis. Everolimus blocks an enzyme in the body that plays a role in growth of cancer cells.

Rehabilitation after treatment:

Because brain tumors can develop in parts of the brain that control motor skills, speech, vision and thinking, rehabilitation may be a necessary part of recovery. Your doctor may refer you to services that can help, such as:

Physical therapy can help you regain lost motor skills or muscle strength.

Occupational therapy can help you get back to your normal daily activities, including work, after a brain tumor or other illness.

Speech therapy with specialists in speech difficulties (speech pathologists) can help if you have difficulty speaking.

Tutoring for school-age children can help kids cope with changes in their memory and thinking after a brain tumor.