BRAIN TUMORS

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The brain tumor can be caused by direct brain tissue, cranial nerves, meninges, skull bones, the tumors that form in other organs do brain-metastasis, i.e. jump to the brain. The brain tumors are divided into two as benign and malignant. Benign tumors are slow-growing tumors and post-operative recurrence rates are very low. Often there is no need for post-operative chemotherapy or radiotherapy, i.e. additional treatment after surgery. Malignant tumors are rapidly growing tumors and are post-operative recurrence rates are high. Usually, post-operative additional treatments (chemotherapy or radiotherapy) are required.

WHY DOES THE BRAIN TUMOR OCCUR?

Although it is not known exactly why most types of brain tumors occur, it is known that there are some trigger factors. It can be seen in all ages, and its incidence increases in older ages. Genetic susceptibility is the point in question. The brain tumors are more likely to occur in persons with family history of brain tumor than normal persons. The incidence increases in diseases due to some genetic disorders. It is more common in white races than black races. Overdose radiation and exposure to certain chemical drugs increase the risk. The possibilities of developing brain tumors due to devices that emit radiofrequency waves such as mobile phone, radar and base stations, microwave ovens are still in the research stage and no definite conclusion has been reached yet.

WHAT ARE THE BRAIN TUMOR SYMPTOMS?

The symptoms vary depending on the location of the tumor. Complaints and symptoms such as headache especially in the morning, nausea, vomiting, epileptic seizures, numbness, weakness and hypoesthesia in the feet or legs, loss of balance, decrease in vision, blurred vision, decrease in hearing, unilateral or bilateral complete loss in hearing, memory impairment, galactorrhea due to the tumor located in the pituitary region, enlargement of the hands and feet due to hormonal disorders, are seen.

BRAIN TUMOR DIAGNOSIS ?

After a detailed anamnesis and physical examination, diagnosis is made by contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging(CE-MRI). In MRI, the location and size of the tumor are clearly seen. If surgery is necessary according to MRI, the surgery plan and surgical approach are planned. Other than MRI, methods such as contrast enhanced computed tomography and PET-CT are helpful in diagnosis..

THE TREATMENT OF BRAIN TUMOR ?

The treatment method is determined according to the location and size of the tumor. Tumors that reach large sizes, close to relatively risky brain regions, and are likely to compress sensitive areas with growing should be surgically removed. The surgery is done by microsurgery technique. Technological devices such as neuronavigation and neuromonitoring can be used in these surgeries to reduce risk of the neurological deficits, i.e. nerve damage and paralysis. Another technique applied to tumors located in sensitive brain regions in recent years is awake brain surgery. In this technique, local anesthesia is only performed to area of incision on the skin. The patient is awake during all period of surgery. When the sensitive brain region is reached, the possibility of developing neurological deficit is minimized through the neurological examination which can be done because the patient is awake. If the tumor is benign and completely removed, there is no need for additional treatment. If the tumor is malignant, additional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiotherapy are usually needed, even if it is removed completely. With the developing technology in recent years, the gamma knife radiosurgery has started to be used frequently in the treatment of brain tumors. Extremely successful results can be obtained in tumors that are located in difficult-to-reach areas, and less than 2.5-3 cm. The gamma knife device is based on the principle of giving intense light to tumor tissue in one or several session to create necrosis for disappearance of tumor.