Doctor insights on:
How Do You Die From A Brain Tumor
Could you tell me if there's a blood brain barrier, how do people get metastatic/secondary brain tumors?
Imperfect barrier.: The blood brain barrier separates circulating blood from the brain proper. The barrier consists of tight junctions in cells lining the blood vessels in the brain as well as a thick basement membrane and processes from astrocytes (structural/supporting brain cells). This barrier helps to limit pathogens (bacteria) and cancers from entering the brain; however, no physiologic system is "perfect". ...Read more
"tumor" literally translates as "mass", so even a fresh bruise could be called a "tumor". Doctors use the term "neoplasm" (tranlates literally as new growth) to describe tumors that are abnormal growths of cells. These may be benign or malignant; "malignant" = cancer. In everyday usage, we use "tumor" ...Read more
Yes: The skull is an enclosed space with a brain in it. Any sort of tumor growing in the skull takes up space... but there's no extra space in there. Therefore, the tumor grows and compresses the brain, killing the patient. This is why non-cancerous brain tumors that grow big in size become life-threatening. ...Read more
Exam and imaging: A very good clinical history, and physical examination can tell you a lot whether a headache is a migraine likely, tension headache likely or other serious condition such as brain cancer. Primary brain cancer is not very common. Metastatic disease from other cancer in the body is way more common. If suspicion is high then some imaging studies can be ordered- such as ct scan or MRI of the head. ...Read more
Some guidelines: A headache coupled with confusion, dizziness, memory loss, slurred speech, loss of balance, weakness on one side of the body, seizures or blurred or double vision could signal a stroke or brain tumor, so always demand prompt medical action in those circumstances. Isolated headache is rarely caused by brain tumors. ...Read more
Yes: All abnormal growths in the brain are serious. A meningioma is brain tumor that can vary from very mild to very severe. Some are very slow growing and depending on the patient's age and risks for surgery "might" not be removed. Most are removed, simply because the earlier one can be removed the less the chance it could grow so big as to kill someone. That is too simplistic an answer. ...Read more
Unlikely: Dying during a colonoscopy or because of one is a very rare event. The risk of a perforation or hole during a colonoscopy is about 1/1500. The risks of dying would increase if one had a perforation that was not noticed. Also there is a risk of having complications from the sedation. One could stop breathing from over sedation which could lead to death, again, a rare event. ...Read more
Benigh tumors: Benign is a term that typically refers to the kind of cells that make up a tumor. For example, a meningioma is considered a benign tumor because it does not grow fast, and is not composed of rapidly dividing cells. Benign tumors, however, certainly can occur is places that make them dangerous and for these, frequent imaging studies including ct and MRI are typically used. ...Read more
Brain tumor: A very broad question as it depends on where in the brain the tumor occurs. For example if in the motor area then difficulty with walking and ambulating, if in the speech area then speech difficulties, if in the pituitary then hormonal issues. ...Read more
CT/MRI: Doctors diagnose brain tumors through a combination of clinical history, physical examination including a careful neurological examination, and imaging, including ct and MRI scans. Mri is the most sensitive way of finding and localizing a brain tumor. The exact type of tumor is determined when a sample of it is examined by a pathologist, preferably a neuropathologist. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Hmm: Brain tumor will give lots of symptoms like headache, dizziness, memory problems and most oftenly seizures. These symptoms will be based on the size, location and type of tumor. Brain imaging will most of the time give a clear picture but sometimes brain biopsy may be required to confirm the diagnosis. ...Read more
Depends: Need to be specific, is like how long does it take to die if you're bleeding somewhere else. What part of the brain, and how big? It can be a tiny unnoticable bleed that causes no problem and gets better on its own, or a big giant bleed could take a few seconds. ...Read more
Symptoms ; Imaging: People with brain tumors often suffer from: headaches seizures sensory (touch) and motor (movement control) loss deep venous thrombosis (dvt, or blood clot) hearing loss vision loss fatigue depression behavioral and cognitive (thinking) changes endocrine dysfunction (hormone/gland changes). ...Read more
Imaging: Typically if symptoms are suspicious enough imaging will be ordered. This can be ct or mri, with MRI more sensitive. In many cases, if the MRI shows a suspicious area a biopsy or surgical removal will be the next step. This isn't always true, though, as some tumors can be diagnosed confidently without biopsy (meningiomas, vestibular schwannomas). ...Read more
No sure way: Headaches that are associated with nausea and awaken you from sleep are more worrisome than others. Also headaches that do not resolve with time, otc medications can also be worrisome. Most headaches are not from brain tumors. If the headache is associated with other neurologic findings a scan is in order. ...Read more
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