3 December 2010
Brain Cancer in Children
Brain Cancer is a common disease amongst children today. There is a lot of information concerning brain cancer, available to anyone who wishes to learn more of the disease.
There are different types of brain tumors. As a matter of fact, there are over 100 types of brain tumors! Cancers of the brain are the result of abnormal growth of cells in the brain. They also can arise from organs that contain cancer cells which have spread to the brain by the bloodstream. Cancer is one of the hardest disease to cure and there is not a known cure, but there is extensive research in progress. Brain cancer is more common in children than adults.
Tumors of the brain can be either benign or malignant. Benign means a non-cancerous tumor while malignant means a cancerous tumor. Tumors that do not grow aggressively are called benign. Almost all tumors that begin in the brain do not spread to other parts of the body. The major differences between benign and malignant tumors are that malignant tumors can invade the brain tissues and grow rapidly ( Harold). A brain tumor is the most common childhood disease.
Symptoms of this disease vary depending on the size of the tumor and its location in the brain. Symptoms do not give you an idea of where the tumor is located. Headaches are a very common symptom of this disease. The headaches you get from brain cancer are very frequent and increase in pain over time. They cannot be dealt with using over the counter medications such as ibuprofen, Tylenol, or Aleve. Headaches may worsen while sneezing, coughing, bending over, or lying down.
Seizures also play a major role in living with the disease . Studies have shown that 1/3 of the population of people who are living with the disease develop seizures. Seizures can cause the body to shake and shudder uncontrollably. During this action you could experience visual disturbance such as flashing lights and you could also lose consciousness. It is highly advised that you seek medical attention if you believe you are experiencing this symptom.
If you are diagnosed with brain cancer you could experience excessive vomiting. This can occur at any time of day, but in the morning especially. It is believable that while living with this cancer your brain becomes slower at processing the simplest tasks (Robin). Those tasks include easy math, writing sentences, setting up a chess board or following a simple recipe. Memory loss and difficulty paying attention are effective as well. Some physical symptoms may include weakness on one side of the body, loss of balance, stumbling, or walking into walls.
While experiencing those symptoms, you could also notice changes in speech. A person suffering with brain cancer may state things that don't make any sense. Slurring of words can occur as well as slow speech. This symptom could become very frustrating over time, due to lack of communication. If you are experiencing any of the above stated symptoms they you should visit your doctor immediately (Robin).
The treatment that you will undergo all depend on five things. The location of the tumor, type of tumor, your age, general health and the mass of the tumor. You will have a multiple amount of doctors assigned to you during your treatment. Those types of doctors include neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, oncologists, a dietitian, social worker, a physiotherapist. You must go through a series of treatments and tests before you have the surgery. Such treatments and tests would be a neurological exam (Robin).
Your child's doctor will begin tests that reflect muscle strength, eye and mouth movement, coordination, reflexes and alertness. An x-ray will be done to see if the cancer has spread. Angiograms are used to detect certain types of tumors by inserting a special dye into the blood vessels of...