The National Cancer Institute José Alencar Gomes da Silva (Inca) estimates that 11,090 new cases of brain cancer will be diagnosed this year in Brazil, with 5,870 men and 5,220 women. Currently, this type of cancer is ranked 11th among the most common tumors in Brazilian women and 11th among men. With the disease effect, Maio Gray comes to educate the population about the type of cancer.
These numbers tend to be much higher if benign central nervous system (CNS) tumors, which consist of the brain and spinal cord, are taken into account.
About 88% of central nervous system tumors are located in the brain. It is estimated that central nervous system tumors account for 3.1% of the total number of cancers.
The surgeon and head of the Department of Neurosurgery in the Inca, Antonio Aversa, said Wednesday (19) to Agência Brasil that previous exposure to radiation therapy, in previous years, may increase the risk of developing an intracranial tumor, that is, in the brain. Victor Vasconcelos, oncology neurosurgeon and member of the Brazilian Society of Neurosurgery (SBN), agreed that radiation therapy and exposure to radiation, such as excessive X-rays and CT scans, are factors that increase the risk of developing brain tumors. The two experts stress Maio Gray’s importance in raising public awareness for preventing brain tumors.
A multifactorial disease
Brain cancer is a multifactorial disease. “Aside from radiotherapy, there is no other environmental or family factor that increases a person’s chance of developing a brain tumor. It is known that there are some molecular genetic changes that occur in these tumors, but most of them have no specific cause,” said Aversa. According to an Inca surgeon, Maio Gray is important so that a person, upon noticing any various symptoms, can go to the doctor and start treatment early. Victor Vasconcelos also highlighted, in an interview with Agência Brasil, that it is important to be aware of the symptoms of the warning in order to find a specialist.
Victor Vasconcelos said persistent and progressive headaches, vomiting, seizures, visual, motor and speech changes, and tingling are common symptoms in adults and children. “These are warning signs mainly related to headaches,” he explained. Antonio Aversa confirmed that an epileptic seizure could also be a symptom of a brain tumor. “Especially in adults between the ages of 40 and 50, if an epileptic seizure appears, it must be investigated immediately, because it may be a brain tumor,” he said. Brain tumors usually occur in adults, especially the elderly, although they are common in childhood. The most common type of solid tumor in childhood is brain tumor. They only lose because of leukemia. “
Antonio Aversa said that in the case of minors, these signs should alert the country to seek a doctor soon to request an examination. Neurosurgeon Victor Vasconcelos added that this is the most common cancer in children between the ages of 5 and 12 years. In the primary health care network, care is provided by a doctor or neurologist; If the change is confirmed, the patient is referred to the department of neurosurgery and undergone CT and MRI scans.
According to the chief of the Inca neurosurgery department, the most common malignancy of the brain is glioblastoma. This is the most common brain tumor in adults and also the most aggressive. “It’s almost always fatal.” Aversa said that even with treatment, a two to three year maximum survival is achieved, but the cure is almost impossible. Some of the less aggressive tumors, which are considered to be low-grade malignancy, can be treated with a prolonged survival. Victor Vasconcelos noted that even these tumors can have severe consequences for the patient in terms of vision, speech and movement. In childhood, the Inca doctor reported having malignant tumors that could be treated with a cure rate of 70% to 80%. “The outlook for children is much better,” said Aversa.
Antonio Aversa explained that the deeper the brain is and if it mainly includes an area called the brainstem, the more difficult it is, the treatment and development are worse. The entire lesion cannot be removed. It is easiest to completely remove superficial lesions and indicate the need for radiotherapy and chemotherapy afterwards. In benign tumors called meningiomas, which appear in the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord, the prevalence is highest in women. In malignant neoplasms, the incidence is similar between the sexes. It is very common, on the other hand, for people with cancer in other areas of the body, such as cancers of the skin, breast, and lung to metastasize to the brain, resulting in secondary brain tumors, which are not included in the list of primary tumors. Intracranial tumors.
Victor Vasconcelos also noted the importance of talking about the topic of brain tumor on the eve of World Headache Day, which is celebrated tomorrow (20). Hint at a case of migraine. “A throbbing headache, very intense, may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting or an intolerance to light or sound, discomfort from noise or strong smell, indicates a benign headache that deserves some treatment, but does not alert us about a brain tumor.” According to a cancer neurosurgeon, what distinguishes a migraine from a brain tumor is the progression. In other words, a headache that gets worse over time or people who have never had a headache and started to have a crunch. Changing this pattern is what must be emphasized, “Vasconcelos points out.