nursing care for brain cancer

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brain cancer definition

The medical definition of brain cancer defines the disease as ‘the cancer of the central information processing center of the body’. In this disease tumours develop in the brain tissue resulting in brain cancer, these tumours can be malignant or benign and only the malignant tumours in the brain are responsible for brain cancer. Brain cancer interferes and hampers other brain functions like, muscle control, memory, sensation, etc.   

There are two forms of brain cancer primary brain cancer and secondary brain cancer. Primary brain cancers are those that have developed in the brain itself, while secondary brain cancer is the one that has metastasized or spread to the brain tissue from different parts of the body.

brain cancer stages

 Brain cancer is classified into various stages according to the extent of spread of the cancer, cell types and grade of the cancer. The varied brain cancer stages range from stage 0 to stage 4. Stage 4 refers to the highest of the brain cancer stage and it also signifies that the cancer has spread to another organ.

brain cancer types

There are several different types of brain cancer, classified according to the location and the size of the cancer. The various brain cancer types can be seen below;

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Astrocytoma
  • Brain metastases
  • Choroid plexus carcinoma
  • Craniopharyngioma
  • Embroynal Tumours
  • Ependymoma
  • Glioblastoma
  • Glioma
  • Medulloblastoma
  • Meningioma
  • Oligodendroglioma
  • Pediatric brain tumours
  • Pineoblastoma
  • Pituitary tumours

 brain cancer causes:

Researchers are yet to ascertain the exact reason as to why the normal brain cells start developing into cancer cells in both primary and metastatic brain cancer. However, certain risk factors have been identified as to be the contributing factors in brain cancer causes. These risk factors behind brain cancer causes are as follows;

  • Exposure to Vinyl choloride or ionizing radiation
  • Inherited conditions like  Von Hippel – Lindau disease, multiple endocrine neoplasia and neurofibromatosis type 2
  • Occupational hazards of working in am oil refinery, rubber factory, embalmers, chemists
  • Exposure to jet fuels and chemicals like benzene

brain cancer symptoms:

Not all types of brain cancer show symptoms like tumours of the pituitary gland. There are numerous symptoms of brain cancer and not all of them are specific to brain tumour, meaning they can be indicative of some other illnesses. The few common brain cancer symptoms are as follows; 

  • Headaches, especially in the morning and can be persistent and might become severe
  • Muscle weakness often found on one side of the body
  • Paresthesias i.e. the feeling of pins and needles or reduced touch sensation
  • Balance disorder or problems with coordination
  • Difficulty in walking 
  • Fatigue
  • Seizure

Besides the above brain cancer symptoms, there are other non specific brain cancer symptoms like;

  • Altered mental condition i.e. problem concentrating, memory issues and mental confusion
  • Nausea especially in the morning together with dizziness or vertigo
  • Problem with vision like- blurred vision, double vision and loss of peripheral vision
  • Speech difficulties
  • Gradual changes in the personality and intellectual capacity

brain cancer diagnosis:

The initial brain cancer diagnosis begins with a simple brain cancer test that consists of interaction with the doctors and physical examination the result of this brain cancer tests determines the use of other brain cancer screening test like X rays, CT scan, PET scan and MRI scan.  Beside these brain cancer screening tests, neurologists can also ask for other brain cancer diagnostic tests like biopsy and other tests to check on white blood cell counts, electrolytes or increased intracranial pressure.

brain cancer home treatment:

Brain cancer home treatment basically involves various brain cancer care methods, nutritional changes like;

  • Introducing more antioxidants in the diet like strawberries, blueberries and grapes are rich in antioxidants
  • Wolfberries are also believed to bring a respite in brain cancer
  • Having a diet rich in folic acid also helps in preventing the spread of cancer cells in the body
  • Having organic fruits and vegetable juice, especially pomegranate juice are some of the natural remedy for brain cancer
  • Turmeric, ginger, garlic are all rich in anti oxidants and they should be introduced in the diets of a brain cancer patient
  • Japanese green tea like matcha, sencha and gyokuro has more polyphenols that prevents the growth of new blood vessels feeding the tumour.

A word of caution before introducing any dietary changes, it is important to consult your doctor as these brain cancer remedies are in no way substitute to the conventional cancer treatment but are rather complimentary and should be adopted with caution.

brain cancer treatment

The conventional brain cancer treatment consists of surgery, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, targeted drug therapy, radiosurgery, radiation therapy and rehabilitation through physiotherapy, occupational therapy etc. 

  • Surgery – Depending on the location of the brain tumour, surgeons can easily remove the brain tumour to bring some relief to the patient
  • Radiation therapy – This therapy involves the use of high energy beams or proton beams to kill cancer cells
  • Radiosurgery – It is the use of multiple radiation beams to kill cancer cells with the help of gamma knife or linear accelerator
  • Chemotherapy – it is essentially the use of drugs to kill tumour cells    
  • Rehabilitation – rehabilitation after undergoing cancer treatment is extremely important to gain muscle strength and motor skills. The various rehabilitation programs that can help are physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy.

how can we help?

Brain cancer patients need a lot of support and care, since it is not only painful but also pretty stressful for both the patient and their families. Easing the process of recovery is brain cancer treatment at home facilities. In India, Portea is one such at home healthcare provider that offers the best brain cancer treatment at home that includes nurses for brain cancer care and rehabilitation. So if you are in search of a reliable and effective brain cancer care at home then do get in touch with us and we would bring you the best of cancer care at your doorstep.

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