Brain Cancer Essay Research Paper The body

Brain Cancer Essay, Research Paper

The body normally forms new cells only when they are needed to replace old or

damaged ones. If something happens to disturb this controlled process, abnormal

or excessive cells are produced. When this occurs a tumor is developed. This is

known as cancer. When a tumor is developed on the brain, it is called a brain

tumor or brain cancer. Brain tumors can be benign or malignant (benign being not

cancerous and malignant being cancerous). Both types can be deadly when dealing

with the brain. Benign brain tumors consist of very slow growing cells. They

have distinct borders and rarely spread to other locations. When viewed under a

microscope, the cells of a benign tumor have an almost normal appearance. Even

though these tumors sound harmless they can be life-threatening when located in

such a vital area. Since the skull is unable to expand when the tumor grows it

puts? pressure on the brain. This results in damaged brain tissues and if left

untreated a person could die. A malignant tumor is a tumor that could

potentially invade and destroy important tissues and cells. They can also spread

to other parts of the body (metastasize). Brain tumors can initially start in

the brain. They can also spread to other parts of the body from the brain but

this rarely happens. Some tumors may be worse than others. Tumor staging is used

to determine the extent of cancer. The stage indicates if the cancer has spread

and how far. The stages are listed below: T = Primary tumor size/extent T0:

Primary tumor not present T1, T2, T3, T4 The higher the number, the larger the

size/extent of the tumor. N = Regional lymph node involvement N0: No lymph node

involvement N1, N2, N3 The higher the number, the more lymph node involvement. M

= Distant metastasis M0: no metastasis M1: Metastasis present The cause of brain

cancer is unknown. It is likely they are caused by many factors. Some of these

factors are genetic damage, inheritance, electromagnetic fields, weak immune

system, viruses, injury, diet, chemicals, hormones, environmental factors, and

occupational factors. The most common and often first symptoms of brain tumors

are headaches and seizures. Later symptoms include nausea, vomiting, fever,

change in pulse, and trouble breathing. Mental changes may also occur such as

difficulty in communication and speech. In general symptoms greatly depend on

the location of the tumor. For example if the tumor is on the occipital lobe,

you would have problems with your vision. Treatment of a tumor depends on its

location and type, but surgical removal of the tumor if the primary treatment

for cancer. Some tumors can be removed without harm to any part of the brain

while others are in areas that make surgical removal impossible. Most tumors are

treated with a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. A

new procedure is being tried called gamma knife, which is a type of radio

surgery. It uses precise radiation to isolate and kill the tumor. One positive

aspect of this procedure is that it limits the amount of radiation that the

entire brain receives so less normal brain cells are destroyed. Some Statistics

✓ Within the next year, over 100,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed

with brain cancer. ✓ Brain tumors are the second leading cause of death

in the age group 15-34. ✓ Brain tumors are the second fastest growing

cause of cancer death among those over age 65. ✓ Approximately 44 percent

of all primary brain tumors are benign. ✓ Unlike most benign tumors when

located on the brain they can cause death. ✓ Because of their location

brain, tumors are difficult to treat. ✓ Brain cancer research is

underfunded. ✓ The cause of brain cancer is still unknown. ✓ The

cure rate for brain cancer is lower than that of most other types of cancer.


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