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What Are The Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Causes of Brain Tumors?


Admin December 28 2020 Share this:
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The brain is the most important organ of the human body. It is also a part of the central nervous system along with the spinal cord. The brain plays a central role in the functioning of the body that includes movement of various body parts, awareness, memory, speech as well as a thought process. That’s why we say, we think by the brain and feel by the heart. The skull in our head protects the brain from the outer physical shocks so well, but still, there is something we have less or no control over. Brain tumor, as it’s termed, is a cluster of abnormal growth of cells in the brain which sometimes is cancerous and hence dangerous. The causes of brain tumors may be genetic that are not controllable or maybe environmental that are possibly preventable.

The brain tumors may be benign or malignant. The benign brain tumor is not worrisome as it’s not cancerous. However, a malignant brain tumor is a cancer that can spread to other parts of the body. If the tumor is started in the brain, it’s called a primary brain tumor otherwise it’s a secondary brain tumor. The secondary brain tumor starts elsewhere in the body and later spreads to the brain. 40% of cancers have the possibility of spreading to the brain

In India, we have 5 to 10 cases of brain tumors per 100,000 people. Also, the brain tumor and other central nervous system tumors share 26% of childhood cancers and are the “second most common cancer” that occurs in children.

More than 100 kinds of brain tumors have been identified but the most common types of brain tumors that occur in adults are – 

    • Gliomas: These types of brain tumors occur in Glial cells, the cells that maintain nerve health. Most often, this tumor is cancer. 
    • Meningiomas: Meninges are the thin membranous layer of tissues that protect the central nervous system including the brain and spinal cord. These tumors are not cancer but they create pressure on the brain and hence problematic.
    • Schwannomas: These tumors are usually benign and occur in the peripheral nervous system. Their occurrence damages the “protective covering of nerve cells” and may cause hearing disorder as well as balancing problems.
    • Pituitary Adenomas: These tumors are non-cancerous growth of cells and usually occur on the pituitary glands and grow slowly. Pituitary adenomas do not spread beyond the skull.

Symptoms And Causes of Brain Tumors

We came to know that not all brain tumors are cancerous. There will be no symptoms for some brain tumors until they become large enough. The person with brain tumors may have some of the following symptoms. Having these symptoms does not always mean the individual has got a brain tumor. 

Symptoms of Brain Tumors

There will be headaches that will not be eased with usual treatment, seizures, and hearing or speech disorder. In some cases, vision impairment or weakening, balancing and walking issues will be the symptoms. While some people experience numbness in arms and legs, memory loss, change in overall personality. The symptoms also include lack of concentration, partial weakness in the body, and vomiting in the morning without nausea.

Causes of Brain Tumors

We have no fully established causes of brain tumor yet. However, the researchers are able to ascertain a few risk factors and the changes in normal cells that result in brain tumors. Brain tumors are mainly the result of some changes in the DNA of the normal cells. DNA is basically a chemical that forms genes in our body and inherited genes are the reason why we look like our parents. 

Changes in DNA affect the functioning of genes such as Oncogenes and Tumor Suppressor Genes. Oncogenes help in cells’ growth, division, and keeping them alive while the Tumor Suppressor Genes control cell division, repair defects in DNA, and make cells die at the right time.

Changes in genes develop the risk of the occurrence of brain tumors. Some people develop brain tumors due to the inherited syndromes caused by inherited genes. In some people, other reasons such as exposure to environmental factors such as radiation and cancer-causing chemicals such as tobacco as well as non-ionizing low-frequency electromagnetic radiation cause brain tumors. These other factors also damage DNA and develop a risk of brain tumor. 

Risk Factors of Brain Tumor

The various types of brain tumors can have some common characteristics or developmental behavior, but not all of them have the same risk factors. Also, we can not always link brain tumors to known risk factors or any definite cause. However, there are some identified and established risk factors that may lead to or increase the risk of brain tumors. The risk factors may not always be the causes of brain tumors but they have proven to be in most cases.

    • Radiation Exposure: The most common radiation exposure happens through radiation therapy. Doctors use radiation therapies to treat other conditions or cancers in the body. Children who receive radiation treatment to their brains for leukemia can develop a high risk of occurrence of brain tumor later in their lifetime. We sometimes undergo some imaging tests such as X-ray, and CT-Scan which exposes us to radiation and a possible risk of brain tumor, though very rarely. That’s why doctors don’t recommend radiation treatment to children and pregnant women unless it’s highly necessary.
    • Family History: In some cases, it is evident that the brain tumor occurs in families in their generations. The inherited familial syndromes that cause a high risk of brain tumor are – Neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1), Neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF2), Tuberous sclerosis, Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, Li-Fraumeni syndrome, Turcot syndrome, Gorlin syndrome, and Cowden syndrome, etc.
    • Weakened Immune System: Weakened immunity generally makes people fall prey to various diseases including cancers such as brain tumors. A person with weakened immunity can develop lymphomas of the central nervous system that include the brain and spinal cord. Lymphomas are the cancer of lymphocytes, a kind of white blood cells in the body. A weakened immune system is sometimes inherited which means it is congenital. Also, it can be a result of cancer treatment or diseases such as AIDS. Electromagnetic radiation from wireless gadgets also weakens the immunity of the body.
    • Use of Wireless Communication Gadgets: Wireless communication devices and equipment such as mobile phones, laptops, desktops, smart TVs, signal boosters, wifi routers, mobile towers, high-tension powerlines, and IoT devices emit non-ionizing low-frequency electromagnetic radiation (EMR). These radiofrequency waves (RF waves) create an electromagnetic field (EMF) in the nearby areas which we are often exposed to.

EMF exposure is a proven causative factor for various cancers as well as brain tumors. The researches including the WHO study that classified the RF-EMF as “Possibly Carcinogenic” causing malignant brain cancer prove the risk of a brain tumor in today’s tech-savvy generation.

Eliminate the risk of brain tumors by using certified radiation protection products for your gadgets in your home and workplace.

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