In this blog, you will find the most popular questions asked about brain tumors and answers supported by the best neurosurgeon in Hyderabad, Dr. Raveesh Sunkara.
But first, let us start with –
Understanding Brain Tumor And Its Impact
A brain tumor is a life-altering condition, generally presumed to be life-threatening, that profoundly affects individuals and their loved ones. “When a person is diagnosed with a brain tumor, the whole family goes through an emotional upheaval,” explains Dr. Raveesh Sunkara, a renowned neurosurgeon in Hyderabad. “Coping with the diagnosis and its effects requires resilience, empathy, and a multidisciplinary approach”.
A brain tumor is the abnormal growth of cells within the brain that can arise from various factors, including genetic predispositions, exposure to radiation, or unknown causes. The impact of a brain tumor reaches far beyond physical symptoms, often causing emotional and psychological distress to all involved.
Patients may experience cognitive impairment, personality changes, and neurological deficits, disrupting their daily functioning and altering their relationships. Family members and friends become caregivers, facing the challenges of providing support, navigating complex treatment options, and grappling with an uncertain prognosis.
#1 What Is The Best Way To Tell If You Have A Brain Tumor? What Does It Feel Like?
There is no way you can tell if a brain tumor is growing except for keen observations of the symptoms. Some signs you can look for are:
- A distinct pattern of headaches that worsens with time and doesn’t go away with over-the-counter medicines.
- Vomiting and nausea for no particular reason.
- Compromised eyesight like blurred vision.
- Not being able to focus.
- Memory loss.
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
#2 If I Am Diagnosed With A Brain Tumor, Can It Be Dangerous?
Brain tumors are classified into two types: benign and malignant.
Benign tumors are typically slow-growing and tend not to spread. They are categorized as grade one or grade two. With prompt intervention, patients have a higher chance of overcoming these tumors.
Malignant tumors, on the other hand, are the most concerning and life-threatening. They carry the potential for cancerous cells to spread and damage other areas of the brain and spinal cord.
Nonetheless, advancements in treatment have significantly improved outcomes for individuals with malignant brain tumors, offering the possibility of a longer life with the appropriate treatment plan.
#3 What Are The Grades Of Tumor? What Exactly Do They Imply?
A tumor’s grade indicates how quickly it will grow and spread. Low-grade tumors, beginning with grade 1, have cancer cells that resemble healthy cells and tissue in appearance and organization. The cells in Grade 4 are the most abnormally differentiating. These grades differ from the stages of cancer.
- Grade I: Benign tumors that are slow-growing and unlikely to spread to other parts of the brain or spinal cord.
- Grade II: Generally slow-growing tumors that have the potential to become malignant over time.
- Grade III: Malignant tumors that grow more rapidly are more likely to invade nearby tissues.
- Grade IV: The most aggressive and malignant brain tumors, also known as glioblastomas, with a tendency to grow rapidly and infiltrate surrounding brain tissue.
#4 What Are The Well-Practiced Treatment Options For Brain Tumors?
Every patient requires a personalized treatment plan, and a qualified neurosurgeon can suggest what works best. Brain tumor treatments may include multiple of the following options:
- Radiotherapy or radiosurgery
- Targeted drugs
- Follow-up treatments like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, etc.
#5 How Long Does The Brain Tumor Treatment Process Take? How Long Will I Be Hospitalized?
The duration of hospital stay depends on the complication and the chosen treatment method. Typically, patients with no difficulties must stay in the hospital for 2-3 days. Patients who experience post-operative problems may have to remain for lengthier periods of observation.
The overall time, including pre-and post-operative treatments, can differ significantly.
- A craniotomy and tumor removal typically takes 3-5 hours for small tumors. However, complex brain tumors can take much longer.
- Radiotherapy sessions may be required 3-5 times per week, with each radiation session lasting 35 to 45 minutes. And the treatment may last for 1-2 months.
- On the other hand, each chemotherapy session can last anything from a few minutes to many hours. The treatment is administered over the course of 6 to 8 months.
Numerous contemporary technologies, including high-powered microscopes and Neuronavigation, have significantly shortened the recovery time following surgery. You may be sure of a speedy recovery and a short hospital stay if you choose the top brain tumor clinic in Hyderabad.
#6 What Are The Recovery Chances From A Brain Tumor? Can My Life Go Back To Normal?
Cancer remains an enigma, continuously perplexing researchers as they uncover new variations. The absence of a reliable data set specific to individual brain tumor types makes it hard to make definite conclusions about survival rates.
Researchers and doctors rely on observing the five-year milestone, considering factors such as age and other complications, to gauge the likelihood of survival. Among those in the young age group (below 15), the survival rate exceeds 75% for most malignant brain tumors. This rate diminishes as the patient ages and the tumor’s aggressiveness increases.
#7 What Are The Costs Associated With Brain Tumors?
Expenses vary for different cities and hospitals. Brain tumor surgery cost in Hyderabad ranges from 300000 – 750000 INR. The expenses will include diagnostic tests, treatments, hospitalization, rehabilitation and supportive care, follow-up visits, and medications. Modern technologies are helping us cut these costs by reducing the patient’s average stay.
Ultimately, how fast the patient recovers dictates the final bill. Modern technologies play a vital role in reducing complications, which is a significant concern for delayed recovery. One such example is Neuronavigation, which helps the surgeon plan a smaller craniotomy and find the least invasive way to reach the tumor in the brain, thus reducing the recovery period to almost half.
#8 Is There Any Way To Avoid A Brain Tumor?
A variety of factors other than genetic disorders influence cancer risk. Following are some ways to minimize the risk of developing a brain tumor:
- Beware of exposure to harmful radiation in the environment.
- Minimize exposure to ionizing radiation from medical imaging tests when possible.
- Follow a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Limit processed foods and excessive sugar intake.
- Avoid a sedentary lifestyle by regularly exercising.
- Avoid smoking tobacco and excessive alcohol.
Some tumors appear without warning. So, it is essential to attend routine check-ups and medical screenings to identify any potential health issues early on.