Of all the organs in the human body, the brain is one of the most complexes in its structure and function. Having a brain tumor is definitely a tall order for the medical specialists involved, the patient’s family, and most definitely the patient! As a result of this, we commemorate our fallen heroes who fought hard and their end was sooner than we would have imagined. In addition, we celebrate our warriors who continue battling this disease and pray for their speedy recovery. 


A brain tumor is a collective term that describes cancers in the brain. The cancers can involve the cerebrum (part of the brain involved in cognition, reflex actions, emotions, and the five senses), the meninges (brain coverings), the brain stem, and the cerebellum (part of the brain involved in balance and co-ordination).  The tumors can be benign (non-invasive and don’t spread) or malignant (invasive and spread to distant organs) or metastatic (spread from other tumors affecting different organs).  


The most common symptoms of brain tumors include severe headaches that are not relieved on common pain medication, severe nausea and vomiting, lack of coordination during body movements, loss of visual acuity, paralysis/weakness of arms or limbs, and in some rare cases, while memory loss is a common feature.  

Brain tumors affect people of all ages, social classes, and sexes. Brain tumors have a predilection to the male gender though no specific cause is associated. Common risk factors for brain tumors include hereditary causes, radiation exposure in the treatment of cancer, radiation due to atomic bombs, and genetic mutations.  


Surgery by a neurosurgeon is the mainstay treatment for brain tumors. However, people who have brain tumors are often diagnosed late and as a result, the surgical procedures to excise them are usually not considered since some of them would have spread to distant organs. These individuals are then put on palliative care for symptomatic treatment to make their lives a bit more comfortable.  


There are no specific measures that have been shown to prevent brain tumors entirely. However, avoiding smoking, drinking alcohol and environmental pollutants including pesticides and herbicides have been shown to reduce the incidence. Ingestion of fruits and vegetables has been associated with a reduced incidence of brain tumors. Moreover, maternal ingestion of vegetables has been associated with reduced brain tumors in the offspring.


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