Doctor insights on:
How Can You Tell If You Have Brain Cancer
Lots to know.: This is hard to answer. Some brain cancers can be completely cured; some can't. Some can be small but in bad locations that cause a lot of disability. Some can be very large and cause no disability. Most are treated with surgery, then radiation, and sometimes chemotherapy. Brain cancer is always scary, because... well, it's the brain! Try this link for more info: http://www.nccn.org/patients/ ...Read more
Cancer is a group of diseases that is characterized by uncontrolled cell growth leading to invasion of surrounding tissues that spread to other parts of the body. Cancer can begin anywhere in the body and is usually related to one or more genetic mutations that allow normal cells to become malignant by interfering with internal cellular control mechanisms, such as programmed cell death or by preventing ...Read more
Depends on type: There are many different types of brain tumors. These range from relatively benign (meningiomas) to highly aggressive (glioblastomas). The survival depends on the type of tumor. I'm sure that a neurosurgeon or oncologist, who know the type in question, would be able to be more specific. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
No real answer: No on knows what really causes malignant brain tumors. There are clearly genetics which can be part of the story. There are probably also linkages to environmental exposures, etc....But not have been teased out. There's been a lot of stories about cell phone use....But that has never really been shown to be linked to tumors - we haven't seen a dramatic increase over the alst 20 years. ...Read more
Yes: The majority of cancers in the brain come from somewhere else but several types of cancers can originate in the brain. ...Read more
More info: Patients with cancer that has spread to the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain will sometimes have medicines placed directly into the fluid thru the skull using a special device called an ommaya port. Otherwise there are no standard "shots" given in the head for brain tumors. There are a few research studies of new drugs given this way. ...Read more
No: Somebody may tell you this is "still under study", but this pathologist thinks the idea is just wrong. No theoretical mechanism. You can find that anything causes anything if you do a bad study or ask the wrong questions, especially retrospectively. In one big study, the tumors were more common on the side opposite the cell phone. Stop worrying and enjoy the benefits of today's technology. ...Read more
I assume: I assume that you are referring to a grade 4 tumor - we don't really stage brain tumors like other cancers. We classify them by grade. Grade 4 typically refers to a glioblastoma, which is a very aggressive primary brain tumor with very poor surival rates. Most patients unfortunately die from their disease within 2 years. ...Read more
Can you please tell me how metastasized brain cancer and cancer that started in the brain differ?
Really depends: Are you talking a primary brain tumor or metastatic disease from another site. If a primary brain tumor, it depends on a few features - what grade - ie grade 2, 3, or 4, patient age, and other comorbidities. Grade 2s live about 10 years grade 3s live about 3-5 years grade 4s live if metastatic disease, survival is less than 1 year (if not shorter). ...Read more
Depends on cause: This is certainly concerning particularly if it is related to the brain cancer. After the other non-cancer related causes have been ruled out (ie. Drug reaction, hypoglycemia, hypoxia, seizures), then you need to worry about if there is exacerbation of the brain cancer. That is, is there increased size, swelling, bleeding that could adversely affect the brain function and thus lead to coma. ...Read more
Single stage: Primary brain tumors (gliomas) are not staged 1 through 4 like cancers in other parts of the body. Prognosis has more to do with what type and if it can come out with surgery. ...Read more
Usually glioma: There are dozens of different types of malignant tumors (cancers) that arise in the brain. Most often these arise from glial cells (gliomas). They can be managed for a while but are very seldom cured. "Brain cancer" can also refer to cancer from other sites that has spread to the brain. ...Read more
Yes: Primary brain tumors can be treated with surgery, radiation (wbxrt or focal therapies such as gamma knife or cyberknife), and/or chemotherapies. Other cancers that have metastasized (spread) to the brain may also be treated. The prognosis and specific treatment depends on many factors and should be individualized to the patient with a multi-disciplinary team approach. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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