Brain tumour, meningeal tumour, meningeal neoplasm
Meninges refer to the protective membranous layer that envelope the brain and the spinal cord. Meningioma is defined as a disease, which occurs due to the development of tumours within the cells of meninges. Studies have revealed that meningiomas account for about 20 percent of the various intracranial tumours and 10 percent of spinal tumours in human beings. Most of these tumours are considered to be “benign” since they exhibit a slow growth rate and do not tend to spread. Such meningiomas, developing on the surface of the brain, results in pushing the brain instead of growing within it. However, rarely do some meningiomas show quick growth rate and exhibit cancer like phenomenon, and in such cases, they are termed as “atypical meningiomas” or “anaplastic meningiomas”. In addition to this, researchers have also found out that meningioma often forms in people with a hereditary disorder known as neurofibromatosis type 2 (NF¬-2).
The underlying cause that leads to this disease is not clearly known. However, doctors believe that such disorders may be caused due to prior exposure to ionizing radiations, neurofibromatosis type 2 (a genetic disorder) and sometimes due to previous cranial injuries.
Meningioma, during the initial stages, may be asymptomatic or may show very weak symptoms, since the growth rate of such tumours is gradual. However, with time and depending upon the site of development of such tumours, the symptoms may become predominant. The symptoms of meningioma include blurring of vision, dizziness, loss of hearing, headaches, weakness, loss of memory, loss of smell, seizures, nausea, vomiting, spasms and others.
Proper diagnosis is highly recommended for the treatment of meningioma to begin. However, due to the slow growth rate of such tumours, the diagnosis of meningioma becomes extremely difficult and such symptoms may often be mistaken for other health disorders or may be erroneously considered as simple signs of ageing.
The treatment of meningioma requires a proper diagnosis in the first place. In initial cases, the diagnosis of this disease is extremely difficult and the symptoms are often erroneously thought to be due to some other ailments or simply as signs of ageing. Due to the gradual growth of such tumours; meningioma, during its initial stages are mostly asymptomatic or may show very weak symptoms. However, with time, the symptoms may become predominant and sometimes may worsen as well. Any individual suffering from the symptoms of meningioma must immediately consult an experienced neurologist for the necessary treatments and prevention of later complications. The diagnosis of meningioma involves thorough neurological examination along with various imaging tests such as computerized tomography (CT) scan and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Once a person is diagnosed as having meningioma; he/she is subjected to proper methods of treatment which may involve surgical removal of the tumours and/or radiation therapy. The treatment for such cases depends on the size and position of the meningioma, its growth rate and the health condition of the patient undergoing this treatment.
For initial stages of meningioma, the doctor might not feel it necessary for surgical treatment if the size of the tumours is small and the growth rate is slow. However, for such patients, regular periodic check-ups and scanning are necessary in order to monitor the size and growth rate of the meningioma. In case, the tumour is seen to grow, the doctor might recommend for surgical treatment and/or radiotherapy.
Complete removal of the tumours by surgery may not be always possible since it may adversely affect the delicate brain cells. In such cases, the doctor might recommend for regular follow up scans in order to track the growth of the portion of meningioma that could not be surgically removed. In case of atypical or malignant meningioma, the doctor recommends for radiation therapy in addition to surgical treatment..
Meningioma, during its initial stages do not show any significant symptoms. However, at later stages, the symptoms may become predominant and may even worsen in some cases. In initial cases, where the meningioma is usually small in size and is having a slow growth rate, may not require any significant treatment as such. For such patients, a regular scanning is recommended in order to track the growth rate of the tumours. However, patients who are suffering from serious symptoms of this disorder and is seen to have steadily growing meningioma may be deemed as eligible for this treatment.
Any individual, who is not reported as having tumours developing from his/her meninges or is not seen to suffer from the symptoms of meningioma, is not eligible for this treatment.
For the treatment of the problem of meningioma, the doctors often recommend for surgical treatment which is followed by radiation therapy (if deemed as necessary). The possible side effects of radiation therapy include stomach problems, mild skin reactions, weakness, change in hormonal levels, cognitive problems such as loss of memory and/or decrease in intellectual performance and other neurological problems. Some of these side effects often disappear soon after the treatment ends. However, children under the age of 5 years are not recommended for such radiation therapy because such a therapy can lead to serious damage to their brain cells.
Meningioma is a type of disease which has high chances of reoccurrence. This is because, complete removal of the tumour cells may not be always possible and the remaining cells tend to multiply later, thereby resulting in reoccurrence of the problem. For this reason, a follow-up care is highly necessary. The post-treatment guidelines for the problem of meningioma include taking rest, regular intake of the prescribed medicines on time, maintaining a healthy diet as recommended and visiting the doctor regularly for routine check-ups. The follow-up care involves physical examinations as well as various medical tests. This is highly important in order to track the recovery of the patient who has undergone this treatment. Patients who have been treated for benign meningioma are advised for yearly check-ups unlike those who were treated for more aggressive tumours and may require visiting their doctor more frequently.
The treatment of the problem of meningioma is achieved by surgery as well radiation therapy. Once the patient comes to a stable condition (after the treatment is over), the concerned neurologist will discharge him/her from the hospital for recovery at home. During this period, the patient needs to follow certain restrictions so that he/she can recover and heal from the surgery. For some patients, the time of recovery may be about 2 to 4 weeks, whereas for others the period of recovery may range from 6 to 12 weeks. This time for recovery varies from person to person depending upon the seriousness of the condition.
The price of treatment for meningioma varies in different parts of India. On an average, the cost of treatment of this problem ranges from Rs. 356,500 to Rs. 398,100 for each patient. However, the price of such treatments is generally lower in government subsidised hospitals as compared to the private health centres.
The disease of meningioma has high chances of reoccurrence even after the treatment is done. This is so because, complete removal of the tumours is not possible in many cases, as this can adversely affect the brain cells. The remaining cells of tumours may grow with time and hence result in the problem to reoccur. The treatment of meningioma by surgery and radiotherapy ensures partial recovery only. Such patients need to follow the necessary restrictions as advised by the doctor and must visit them for routine check-ups even after recovery. This should be done in order to keep track regarding the growth of the tumour cells that could not be removed during the process of treatment.
Rs. 3,56,500 – Rs. 3,98,100
Short course radiation therapy is the one of the most talked about subject in recent years and also a fascinating research zone. Hypofractionated radiation therapy is an old concept, but only in recent years with tremendous improvement in radiation therapy delivery technologies there is a significant visible surge in it’s applicability in clinical practice. Modern radiation therapy technology is capable of delivering high dose to the target while sparing majority of the adjacent critical structures. Hence, it is possible to deliver short course of treatment regimen with higher dose per fraction without increasing in toxicity. In brain tumours, radiosurgery with gamma-knife is considered standard of care in many of the clinical indications such as small meningiomas, acaustic schwannomas, residual low grade gliomas, AVMs and solitary/ oligo brain metastasis. Gamma-knife radiosurgery is in clinical practice for more than five decades.
There are several prospective and randomized studies (level I evidence) with long-term follow up data supporting the use of radiosurgery in these clinical indications. Other indications of radiosurgery are pituitary tumour, craniopharyngiomas, glomus tumours, chordomas and others. Robotic radiosurgery (CyberKnife®) is precision radiosurgery delivery system and an extension of gamma-knife system. CyberKnife uses the principle of gamma-knife, but with linear accelerator source instead of multiple cobalt sources. CyberKnife is capable to treating all tumours indicated for gamma-knife with similar accuracy.
This modern tool has some additional advantages from gamma-knife, such as
1) CyberKnife can use fractionated treatment, hence relatively larger tumours can be treated.
2) Require only thermoplastic mask, no need for invasive frame.
3) Has inverse planning system, can spare critical structure.
4) There is a ‘intra-fraction’ correction technology with imaging.
5) There is no need to change the source, hence may be more cost effective.
6) Can be used to treat extra-cranial tumours also. CyberKnife has a linear accelerator attached with a robot and is capable of treatment from various coplanar and non-coplanar field arrangements. CyberKnife has sub-millimeter accuracy and unmatched dose distribution.
The advanced technology behind CyberKnife uses image guidance technology and computer-controlled robotics to deliver and extremely precise dose of radiation to targets, avoiding the surrounding healthy tissue, and adjusting for patient and tumor movement during treatment. In conclusion, CyberKnife is an extension of gammaknife radiosurgery delivery system. This machine has immense promise to treat with short course regimens with high dose and improve local control without increasing toxicities. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an Oncologist.
Like most other organs of the human body, the brain too is susceptible to cancer. Brain cancer is typically the result of abnormal growth of primary brain cells or the spreading of cancer cells that originated in another organ of the body. This is known as secondary or metastatic brain cancer. Depending on the stage it is diagnosed in, brain cancer can be cured. Let’s take a closer look at primary brain cancer.
Primary brain cancer or the development of tumours in the brain is fairly uncommon. However, they may attack children and adults alike. There are many different types of brain tumours. Their names depend on the part of the brain affected or the type of cell they originate from. The most common types of brain tumors are meningiomas, gliomas, pituitary adenomas, primary CNS lymphomas, vestibular schwannomas and medulloblastomas. Each of these tumors grows at a different rate and causes different symptoms. However, they can all be graded on the same stages.
In this stage, the cell growth is usually very slow. These cells look very similar to normal brain cells and the tissue is benign.
When cancer reaches this stage, the cells begin to grow at a faster pace and look a little different from normal brain cells. The tissue also turns malignant at this point.
The abnormal cells or tumor begins to grow actively and take on a completely different look as compared to normal brain cells. These calls may also be termed as anaplastic.
This is the most aggressive stage of brain cancer. At this stage, the cells begin to grow at a very fast rate.
Treatment for brain cancer depends on a number of factors including the size of the tumor, cancer stage, patient’s overall health, age and any other medical issues that may be present. Brain cancer can be treated with drugs, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. Two or more of these forms of treatment are usually used together for faster and better results.
Whenever possible, a doctor will try to remove the tumor surgically. This may be preceded by drugs to prevent seizures and relieve swelling in the brain. Patients who cannot undergo surgery may be given radiation instead. This form of therapy uses high energy rays to kill the cancer cells. Radiation may also be used after surgery to kill any abnormal cells that could not be removed surgically. Radiation for brain cancer may be given externally or internally. Chemotherapy can also be used to treat brain cancer. This involves delivering medication orally or intravenously to kill the tumors. Each cycle of chemotherapy usually lasts a few weeks and is followed by a rest period. The results of chemotherapy are usually visible after 2 or 4 cycles.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
A brain tumor can occur at any age and it generally occurs in people in the age group of 40-60 years. The common types of brain tumor are termed as meningioma and gliomas. These supratentorial brain tumors generally occur above the covering of the cerebellum tissue. In children, brain tumors occur at the age of 1-12 years and the most common tumors are ependymomas, astrocytoma and meduloblastomas. Brain tumor is the common cause of death even in children.
Tips to Detecting a Brain Tumor
The general symptoms that are indications of a brain tumor include severe headaches, memory changes, nausea, drowsiness, sleep problems, fatigue and sudden involuntary movements of muscles of an individual. The symptoms can be either specific or generic and the general symptoms are mainly caused by the pressure of the tumor on the brain. The specific symptoms on the other hand are caused when specific parts of the brain does not function properly. Many people even experience loss of control of body functions.
The other problems that are experienced by individuals include changes in the ability to perform daily activities and loss of balance. They find difficulty in hearing, speech and at times are very aggressive. If these symptoms exist, then your doctor would recommend a physical examination and ask about your health history and that of your family.
In the neurologic exam the vision, alertness, hearing, coordination, muscle strength and reflexes are checked by the doctor. The doctor also checks for any swelling in the eyes which can be caused by the pressing of the nerve which connects the brain and the eye.
The CT scan done for detecting brain tumor provides detailed pictures of your head and it is done through an X-ray machine which is connected to a computer. The contrast material is injected into the blood vessel of your hand and abnormal areas can be seen easily.
In this method tissues from the brain are removed and tested for tumor cells. The cells are observed by a pathologist under a microscope mainly to check for abnormal cells. The biopsy method is used to show tissue changes that can further lead to cancer. Brain tumor can be easily diagnosed with this method.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI as it is commonly referred to is of great use as it helps to diagnose brain tumors. In this procedure, a dye is injected through a vein in the arm using which the variances in the tissues of the brain can be identified In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!