Is It Worth The Possible Side Effects
Gamma knife is a relatively new technology. So there are only very few studies conducted to determine its effectiveness and safety. But thosestudies suggest that its effective and safe especially for benign meningiomas.
Of all the available technologies for treating brain tumors and lesions, this is obviously one of the safest. Between having your skull opened or pumping radiation precisely into the cancer cells, the choice is a no-brainer.
Does A Pituitary Tumor Shorten Life Expectancy
Having a pituitary tumor should not shorten life expectancy if it is treated properly and if the patient receives appropriate hormone replacement. In large population studies, it appears that patients who had conventional, fractionated, radiation for pituitary disease had an increased mortality risk because of cerebrovascular disease .
Pituitary hormone deficiency requires hormone replacement. All medications must be taken as directed. Additionally, there is a need for regular medical care and monitoring of hormone treatments. Most patients who have had a pituitary tumor engage in normal work and social activities. If a patient requires steroid replacement, a Medic Alert bracelet or necklace should be worn at all times. Another illness such as the flu, pneumonia or an accident requires an increase in the steroid dose. If the patient is brought to the hospital and unable to give the medical history, the physicians will have no way of knowing that additional steroid is necessary. The Medic Alert bracelet or necklace notifies physicians of the need for additional steroid administration. With attention to these important details, a patient with a pituitary tumor should have a full and productive life.
Patients with uncontrolled Acromegaly or Cushings disease do have an increased risk of dying earlier than expected and for having complications of the high hormone level. Lowering of the hormone level to normal reduces this risk.
Is The Hair Loss Permanent
Hair loss caused by radiation therapy may be temporary or permanent. At lower doses, hair loss is often temporary, but at higher doses, hair loss can be permanent. Your provider can discuss whether the hair loss is expected to be temporary or permanent, based on the planned dose of radiation. Each patient’s situation is unique, however, and it is not possible to guarantee regrowth of hair even at lower doses of radiation therapy. Hair loss caused by chemotherapy is often temporary.
When regrowth occurs, there may be changes in texture and color. It is common for hair to grow back curlier than it was however, a change of color is less common.
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Personality Changes Or Mood Swings
Tumors in the brain can disrupt brain function, affecting your personality and behavior. They can also cause unexplained mood swings. For example:
- You were easy to get along with, but now youre more easily irritated.
- You used to be a go-getter, but youve become passive.
- Youre relaxed and happy one minute and, the next, youre starting an argument for no apparent reason.
These symptoms can be caused by a tumor in:
- certain parts of the cerebrum
- the frontal lobe
- the temporal lobe
These changes can occur early on, but you can also get these symptoms from chemotherapy and other cancer treatments.
Ways To Manage Hair Loss
Talk with your health care team about ways to manage before and after hair loss:
- Treat your hair gently. You may want to use a hairbrush with soft bristles or a wide-tooth comb. Do not use hair dryers, irons, or products such as gels or clips that may hurt your scalp. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo. Wash it less often and be very gentle. Pat it dry with a soft towel.
- You have choices. Some people choose to cut their hair short to make it easier to deal with when it starts to fall out. Others choose to shave their head. If you choose to shave your head, use an electric shaver so you wont cut yourself. If you plan to buy a wig, get one while you still have hair so you can match it to the color of your hair. If you find wigs to be itchy and hot, try wearing a comfortable scarf or turban.
- Protect and care for your scalp. Use sunscreen or wear a hat when you are outside. Choose a comfortable scarf or hat that you enjoy and that keeps your head warm. If your scalp itches or feels tender, using lotions and conditioners can help it feel better.
- Talk about your feelings. Many people feel angry, depressed, or embarrassed about hair loss. It can help to share these feelings with someone who understands. Some people find it helpful to talk with other people who have lost their hair during cancer treatment. Talking openly and honestly with your children and close family members can also help you all. Tell them that you expect to lose your hair during treatment.
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If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Brain
People with brain tumors often get stereotactic radiosurgery if the cancer is in only one or a few sites in the brain. Side effects depend on where the radiation is aimed. Some side effects might show up quickly, but others might not show up until 1 to 2 years after treatment. Talk with your radiation oncologist about what to watch for and when to call your doctor.
If the cancer is in many areas, sometimes the whole brain is treated with radiation. The side effects of whole brain radiation therapy may not be noticeable until a few weeks after treatment begins.
Radiation to the brain can cause these short-term side effects:
- Trouble with memory and speech
Some of these side effects can happen because radiation has caused the brain to swell. Medicines are usually given to prevent brain swelling, but its important to let your cancer care team know about headaches or any other symptoms. Treatment can affect each person differently, and you may not have these particular side effects.
Radiation to the brain can also have side effects that show up later usually from 6 months to many years after treatment ends. These delayed effects can include serious problems such as memory loss, stroke-like symptoms, and poor brain function. You may also have an increased risk of having another tumor in the area, although this is not common.
Talk with your cancer care team about what to expect from your specific treatment plan.
Specific Types Of Pituitary Tumors
Acromegaly: The best test is a blood IGF-1 level . A single blood growth hormone level may be normal because growth hormone levels vary minute to minute. The best screening test is a blood IGF-1 level. The most reliable test for Acromegaly is measuring blood growth hormone levels after drinking a glucose drink. Depending on the clinical features and IGF-1 level, an oral glucose test may not be necessary for diagnosis.
Prolactinoma: A blood prolactin level is necessary to determine if an elevated prolactin level is a prolactinoma in relation to the pituitary MRI findings. Elevated prolactin may occur in several situations: medications that cause a high prolactin , a growth in the pituitary that causes small elevation of prolactin or a true prolactinoma. The level of prolactin elevation must be related to the MRI findings.
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Does Cancer Cause Hair Loss
It iswidely assumed that if you have cancer, you will eventually lose all your hair.But is cancer itself the hair-loss culprit? The answer is no.
Alopecia,or hair loss, occurs as a secondary result of chemotherapy and radiationtreatment. Both chemotherapy and radiation attack the rapidly growing cancercells in your body. The treatment may also attack other normal, fast-growingcells, like the cells in your hair roots.
Although many chemotherapy drugs cause hair loss, its a myth that all cancer patients receiving treatment will experience alopecia. The severity of your hair loss will vary depending on which medications youre taking, the drug dosage, and the frequency of treatment. While some patients experience only a mild thinning of hair, others may have more severe complications. Other types of treatment, such as radiation, will only cause hair loss on the area being treated.
A Small Area Of Dead Cells
Over a period of time, the treated area might develop a small area of dead cells. This is called radiation necrosis.
Radiation necrosis usually happens 1 to 3 years after the treatment finishes. It is more common in people who have had a high dose of radiation to a small area of the brain .
Most people don’t have symptoms and do not need treatment. A small number of people might develop symptoms that depend on the area of the brain affected. If this is the case, you may have treatment with steroids or an operation to remove the affected area.
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What Is Somatomedin C
Somatomedin C and IGF-1 are the same hormone, different names. Growth hormone acts on the body by causing the liver and other tissues to produce a hormone known as insulin-like growth factor-1 it is the IGF-1 that causes the ill effects of too much growth hormone. Growth hormone is released from the pituitary gland in bursts or spurts the levels vary considerable from minute to minute, so one measurement does not reflect overall growth hormone production. IGF-1 is more constant in the blood and is a much better and more accurate indicator of overall growth hormone production. The IGF-1 blood test is used to assess the effectiveness of all treatments . If a patient is treated with the growth hormone antagonist, see below for description) pegvisomant , the only reliable test of effectiveness is the IGF-1 level. Measurement of growth hormone in a patient receiving pegvisomant will result in extremely high growth hormone levels because pegvisomant is a modified growth hormone molecule and is measured as growth hormone in the blood test.
Suffering From Blindness Or Deafness
Brain tumors can also cause blurring of eyes or weakness of eyes. It is important to have a quick eye examination done so that these symptoms can be detected. Or it may seem like you are hearing loss or deafness may be one of the possible symptoms of a brain tumor.
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Cancer That Begins Elsewhere And Spreads To The Brain
Secondary brain tumors are tumors that result from cancer that starts elsewhere in your body and then spreads to your brain.
Secondary brain tumors most often occur in people who have a history of cancer. Rarely, a metastatic brain tumor may be the first sign of cancer that began elsewhere in your body.
In adults, secondary brain tumors are far more common than are primary brain tumors.
Any cancer can spread to the brain, but common types include:
- Breast cancer
Clumsiness: Loss Of Balance And Coordination
Loss of balance, lack of coordination in the limbs, trouble swallowing, and numbness or weakness in one side of the body can be because of brain tumors.
If you are finding it difficult to maintain your balance while walking or having difficulty coordinating your hands and legs, it might be a symptom of brain tumor. This might be caused by a tumor in the cerebellum, the primary motor cortex, or the parietal lobe, all of which are responsible in different ways for the coordination of movements. A brain stem tumor that affects hearing can also contribute to loss of balance.
If your clumsiness can be attributed to numbness or weakness in one side of your body, it might be caused by a tumor in the parietal lobe. As the brain stem and the frontal lobe control muscular movements related to swallowing and speaking, respectively, patients also have trouble with these activities if they get tumors in these areas.
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Treatment Of Brain Tumors In Dogs
The treatment for a brain tumor will vary widely based on the nature and location of the tumor, the size and how early it was diagnosed. In general, an accessible tumor will be removed surgically, along with radiation or chemotherapy. Radiation therapy with Cobalt-60 has shown significant increases in survival rates compared to surgery alone.
An inaccessible tumor cannot be treated surgically, and so chemotherapy/radiation may be employed. Steroids to reduce swelling and anticonvulsants to stop seizures may also be used to minimize symptoms and provide the dog with some comfort, but this is usually to ease the passing of the animal, and is not a cure.
If Youre Getting Radiation Therapy To The Head Or Neck
People who get radiation to the head and neck might have side effects such as:
- Soreness in the mouth or throat
- Dry mouth
- Jaw stiffness
How to care for your mouth during treatment
If you get radiation therapy to the head or neck, you need to take good care of your teeth, gums, mouth, and throat. Here are some tips that may help you manage mouth problems:
- Avoid spicy and rough foods, such as raw vegetables, dry crackers, and nuts.
- Dont eat or drink very hot or very cold foods or beverages.
- Dont smoke, chew tobacco, or drink alcohol these can make mouth sores worse.
- Stay away from sugary snacks.
- Ask your cancer care team to recommend a good mouthwash. The alcohol in some mouthwashes can dry and irritate mouth tissues.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt and soda water every 1 to 2 hours as needed.
- Sip cool drinks often throughout the day.
- Eat sugar-free candy or chew gum to help keep your mouth moist.
- Moisten food with gravies and sauces to make it easier to eat.
- Ask your cancer care team about medicines to help treat mouth sores and control pain while eating.
If these measures are not enough, ask your cancer care team for advice. Mouth dryness may be a problem even after treatment is over. If so, talk to your team about what you can do.
How to care for your teeth during treatment
Radiation treatment to your head and neck can increase your chances of getting cavities. This is especially true if you have dry mouth as a result of treatment.
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About The Signs And Symptoms Of A Brain Tumour
Symptoms depend on where the tumour is in the brain and how slowly or quickly it grows. They may develop suddenly, or slowly over months or even years.
As a tumour grows, it can press on or grow into nearby areas of the brain. This can cause symptoms because it stops that part of the brain from working normally. Symptoms can also happen because the tumour is increasing the pressure inside the skull.
These symptoms can be caused by conditions other than a brain tumour. But it is important to get them checked by your GP straight away.