The term "Brain Cancer", also said cancer "tumor of the central nervous system" includes several types of tumors may develop in the brain. They are created by the abnormal growth and uncontrolled cell division, either from a cell of the brain itself, or a metastatic cell exported from cancer located in another part of the body.
Brain cancer is the most common glioma. This type of cancer appears to be increasing steadily since the 1980s, for reasons probably environmental, not well identified.
The real brain tumors (primary) are mainly located in the rear part of the brain in children, and in the anterior two thirds of the cerebral hemispheres in adults but can affect all parts of the brain.
Types of brain tumors
The WHO has produced a classification and description of brain cancer , which ranged from 1979 to 2007, classifying the most recent being that of 2007 (in English).
We usually distinguish benign from malignant tumors with;
* Cancers arising in the brain (primary tumors), depending on the type of cells affected.
* Metastatic cancers, often multiple. These are secondary tumors from spreading to the distance of other cancers (lung, breast, colon or melanoma in general). This is the most frequent case.
* Lymphomas (produced from lymphatic organs).
Wrapped in the meninges, the brain is composed of white matter and gray matter.
The gray matter is found on the one hand the periphery: it is called the cortex. On the other hand, the gray matter is found deep within the brain: what are the basal ganglia (or basal ganglia).
The white matter occupies the entire space present between the cortex and basal ganglia.
It contains nerve cells, or neurons, which only rarely tumors, and interstitial cells called glial cells or glia (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells) which provide nutrition and support earlier. These glial cells are the main origin of brain tumors called gliomas so (This is 50% to 60% of all brain tumors (malignant and benign) detected in children and adults);
* Glioblastomas, possibly "multifaceted", which is brain cancer the most common, it must be treated quickly as it grows and spreads quickly.
* Anaplastic astrocytoma, which like the previous growing rapidly, but that is rare.
* Oligodendroglioma, rare too, occurs mainly in adults.
Medulloblastoma is a cancer that appears (often before puberty) in the spinal cord at the base of the brain in the cerebellum or the back of the brain is the most common brain cancer in children.
Sarcoma and adenocarcinoma of the brain exist, but are very rare.
Benign tumors usually better differentiated, are easier to handle (usually surgical excision), they are;
* Chordomas, which arise in embryonic cells of the spinal cord or nerve cranial base;
* Hemangioblastomas, tumors of blood vessels;
* Meningiomas, tumors of the membrane that surrounds and protects the brain more common among women than men.
* Osteomas, which arise in the bones of the skull;
* The pinealomas, tumors of the pineal gland;
* Pituitary adenomas, pituitary tumors;
* The schwannomas, tumors of Schwann cells that surround and protect nerves.
Some of these benign tumors may become malignant (chordomas and meningiomas in particular).
It is through a neurological examination and often through the scanner that allows to differentiate a lesion (stroke) of a tumor and to specify the stage, location, character, possibly multiple. In case of doubt, a brain biopsy is done under general anesthesia through a needle puncture guided through a 3D tracking produced with the scanner. Metastases invited to seek and treat the original cancer (blood tests, biomarkers and possible colonoscopy, computed tomography, pulmonary endoscopy, mammograms are then prescribed by the oncologist).
The first symptoms are chronic or intermittent, they are often severe headaches accompanied by nausea and vomiting, most felt the morning. It may also include dizziness or vertigo, vision disturbances (for double), with or without psychomotor disturbances (weakness or numbness on one side of the body, loss of coordination), all amplified with daily activities. The patient or the environment often find a disorder of mood, senses, personality or feelings, loss of memory or mental confusion. Some cancers of the brain can cause seizures.
It depends on the nature of the position and the progress of the tumor.
* Metastases involve also treat the initial cancer (surgery, chemotherapy and / or radiotherapy of the brain).
* A primary cancer is treated surgically or by chemotherapy and / or cerebral radiotherapy.
* A lymphoma will undergo radiation therapy and sometimes chemotherapy, as appropriate.
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