World Brain Tumour Day is celebrated on June 8 every year to raise awareness among people about the condition, educate people about the consequences and also help people suffering from a brain tumour. The Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe, a German Brain Tumour Association is a non-profit organisation that started this commemoration in the year 2000 as a tribute to all brain tumour patients and their families.
As per the statistics, the prevalence of central nervous system (CNS) tumours in India is 5-10% per 100,000 population and rate seems to be increasing gradually. Metastatic brain tumours develop when cancer originated in another organ of the body spreads to the brain and about 40% of all types of cancer spread to the brain. Reports reveal that the brain and central nervous system tumours are the second leading cancers in children and 26 % of childhood cancers. Also Read: World Brain Tumour Day: Never Ignore Warning Signs
A tumour is a mass or lump of unwanted tissue that grows in the body and that may look like swelling. According to The National Cancer Institute, a tumour is defined as an abnormal mass of tissue that results when the cells divide more than they should and do not die when they should.
What Is A Brain Tumour?
A brain tumour develops when the cells in the brain proliferate in an abnormal way. The tumour can be of two types -malignant, means cancerous, these cells grow and spread to other parts of the body or benign (non-cancerous), these cells do not grow or spread and if removed generally do not regrow. Most of the brain tumour are non-cancerous (benign) and less than one third are cancerous which can develop at any age. Tumours are graded from 1 to 4 stages, which depends on their location, how rapidly cells multiply and spread to adjacent organs.
Read this article to get an insight into several factors that increases the risk of a brain tumour
The Risk Factors Associated With Brain Tumours:
In most cases, the exact cause of brain tumour is unknown, however, the following risk factors may raise an individual’s risk of developing a brain tumour. Also Read: Understanding Brain Tumours
Brain tumours are quite common among children and older adults, however people of any age can also develop.
Mostly men are more likely to develop a brain tumour than women, however, some specific types of brain tumours like meningioma are more common in women.
About 5 to 10 % of all cancers are genetically inherited or hereditary. Brain tumours risk is associated with a certain genetic condition such as Li-Fraumeni syndrome, neurofibromatosis, nevoid basal cell carcinoma syndrome, and von Hippel-Lindau.
Industrial /Chemical Exposure
It is been noted that exposure to industrial chemicals, pollutants and toxins in the work environment may increase your risk for brain cancer.
Exposure To Infections
An infection caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) elevates the risk of CNS lymphoma and a common virus cytomegalovirus (CMV) have been observed widely in brain tumour tissue.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has suggested limiting mobile phone use and encourages the use of a hand-free headset for both adults and children to limit the risk of developing a brain tumour.
Brain tumours, in general, are more common among Caucasians. Though African-American people are more likely to get meningiomas.
Any past treatment to the brain or head with the help of ionizing radiation such as radiation therapies has found to be a risk factor for developing a brain tumour. Even radiation exposure due to nuclear fallout and atom bombs may also increase the risk.
Several studies have revealed a link between head trauma and meningioma and history of seizure has also been associated with brain tumour risk.
Evidence has disclosed that dietary N-nitroso compounds can elevate the risk of a brain tumour in both adults and children. These compounds are formed in the body from nitrates found in cured meats, cosmetics and cigarettes.
Prompt diagnosis and early treatment can prevent complications of brain tumour and improve the overall health condition of the patient.