Brain cancer is one of the most fatal cancer forms. According to the National Cancer Institute, only 34.8 per cent of the brain cancer patients survive beyond five years after treatment. Individuals with tumours confined to the brain have 37.2 per cent chance to live after five years post treatment.
Headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness are the early indications of a brain cancer. These signs, however, are subtle and often confused with other medical conditions. The other reasons of experiencing symptoms may include common medical problems, such as migraines or a sinus infection.
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Early Symptoms of Primary Brain Cancer
A tumour developing in the brain is not usually a result of cancer spreading from other body parts. Figuring out brain cancer in its earliest stage is difficult as the manifestation of brain cancer can mimic conditions that are not cancerous.
Headaches – Headaches, especially those that are severe in the morning indicate the likelihood of brain cancer. The headache gets worse if it comes with cough and while engaging in activities that require one to bend.
Seizures – A developing tumour of the brain interferes with the normal functioning of the brain tissues. The developing brain tumour causes the healthy nerve cells to swell causing seizures.
Cognitive problems – If the tumour is developing fast, the sufferer may experience focal symptoms. These problems include hearing issues (loss, buzzing, ringing) and vision disturbances. Moreover, muscle weakness and inability to manage movements are other symptoms of brain cancer in its early stage.
Neural changes – Neural changes, such as personality or memory problems such as forgetfulness, aggressive behaviour and becoming anxious or depressed suddenly.
Nausea - Nausea accompanied by vomiting occurs in the early stages of brain cancer as a result of the pressure from the tumour.
Mass effect – The developing tumour swells the brain cells and causes an intracranial pressure due to the accumulation of extra fluid. As a result, the head feels heavier. This is the reason why doctors check for a swollen optic nerve and determine if there is intracranial pressure.
The early symptoms of brain cancer may be a sign of other problems, such as migraines and phobias.
Different types of brain tumours respond differently to the treatment with some responding better to chemotherapy while others responding well to radiotherapy. The outcome of treatment for brain cancer removal depends on the grade of the tumour cells, the tumour’s position within the brain, size of the tumour, age at diagnosis and existence of any other medical condition/s when the disease was diagnosed.
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