Benign Brain Tumors Types, Symptoms, and Treatment
Published On Apr 28, 2020, Updated On Feb 08, 2021
A benign (non-cancerous) brain tumour is a mass of cells that grows in the brain and microscopically don’t have the characteristic appearance of cancer. Benign brain tumours can be traced with the help of CT scans or MRI brain scans. The disease usually grows slowly and is non-aggressive. This means it does enter surrounding tissues or spreads to other organs.
But, it has border instead which is visible on the CT scans. It is rare that theses tumours develop into cancerous or spreading tumours. Thankfully, most of these tumours can be removed, and they don’t usually reoccur after that.
It is unknown what exactly causes benign tumours. But the common risk factors for the illness include exposure to chemicals like formaldehyde, vinyl chloride; age; family history; or radiation exposure.
Different Types Of Benign Brain Tumors
Chordomas: These are slow-growing tumours. They usually affect people aged between 50-60 years old. They generally occur in the lower portion of the spine or base of the skull. These tumours are rare.
Craniopharyngiomas: These tumours are difficult to remove because they are located critically deep inside the brain. As these usually occur from the pituitary gland, they might require hormone replacement as a treatment.
Gangliocytomas, anaplastic gangliogliomas, and gangliomas: These tumours are also rare. They mostly occur in young adults.
Glomus Jugulare: This is the most common form of glomus tumour. Glomus jugulare tumours are located just below the skull base over the jugular vein.
Meningioma tumours: Originating from structures similar to the membrane that surround the spinal cord and the brain, a very small percentage of these tumours are cancerous.
Pineocytomas: These are slow-growing tumours that occur from the pineal cells. These are homogeneous and non-invasive and they occur predominantly in the adults.
Pituitary adenomas: Although diagnosed in children too, these tumours commonly affect people aged between 30-40 years. But the good news is that most of them can be treated successfully.
Schwannomas: The most common tumours in adults are Schwannomas. These tumours occur in the nerve and often displace the remainder of the normal nerve instead of spreading to it. These are non-cancerous but can cause some serious issues in case they grow and put pressure on the nerves and then on the brain. These may occur in the spine and even limbs.
Symptoms of Benign Brain Tumour
Symptoms of benign brain tumours vary hugely depending on the location. But the following symptoms may be witnessed along with them:
- Severe headaches
- Problem in articulating, thinking, and speaking
- Changes in the personality
- Loss of balance or dizziness
- Hearing changes
- Numbness on the face/facial paralysis
- Balance problems
- Seizures, muscle jerking
- Nausea, vomiting
- Difficulty in swallowing
Treatment of Benign Brain Tumours
Benign brain tumours are treated similarly as other brain tumours are treated, except that Chemotherapy is rarely done. These are treated alone or in various combinations of the following:
Also, read about Benign Brain Tumor Health Insurance Coverage
Surgery: Surgery is the main treatment for non-cancerous or benign brain tumours. Surgery can remove as much of a tumour as it is possible without causing damage to the tissues or other structures surrounding. In most cases, patients have to remain unconscious, but some may also require him/her to be conscious and responsive in which local anaesthesia will be used.
Radiosurgery: Available only in a few specialised centers across the world, radiosurgery uses tiny beams of high energy radiation that focuses on the tumour, thereby killing the abnormal cells. It is used on patients with tumour deep inside their brains which are difficult to remove otherwise. Recovery in this process is quick and even overnight stay in the hospital is not required.
Chemotherapy: Conventional chemotherapy is a powerful medication that is used to shrink benign brain tumours or to kill the cells left over after the surgery. Chemotherapy uses controlled doses of high energy radiation to kill the tumour cells, usually with the help of X-rays. The therapy can be given as an injection, drip, etc. and may have some side effects like hair loss, skin turning red, tiredness, etc.
Medication: The patient of benign brain tumours can also be treated with some medications. These medications help relieve patients before and after the surgery. These medications may include anticonvulsants that prevent seizures; painkillers in order to treat severe headaches, corticosteroids so that the swelling around the tumour can be reduced; and anti-emetics in order to prevent vomiting.
That was all about benign brain tumours. If you want to have financial protection against the expenses incurred on benign brain tumours, then buy health insurance today. Get in touch with the executives at InsuranceDekho on the number 7551196989 and reduce the stress during hard times.