Early diagnosis and latest technology vital to treat brain tumour
Dr. Irfan Yousaf Consultant Surgical Oncologist, SKMCH&RC, Lahore, said Monday that early diagnosis and latest technology are vital to treat a brain tumour.
In a message on World Brain Tumor Day that is observed on June 8 each year across the globe, he said it is meant to raise awareness about this atypical sort of tumour which stands as the 10th most common type of tumour and people know very little about it.
“Brain tumour can cause various adverse effects on human body depending on its types. Some brain tumours grow quickly, whereas some take a longer time span to grow big. Brain tumours are categorized into four grades and life expectancy of a brain tumour patient depends on the grade of malignant tumour. Doctors recommend biopsy procedure, if a person is diagnosed with brain tumour. While treating a patient with brain tumour, it is very important to diagnose if the tumour is developed within the brain or comes from any other part of the body. A benign tumour is relatively less dangerous and once it is surgically removed there are very little chances of relapse. However; chances of relapsing increases with the grade of the tumor so it is vital to get treatment at early stage.”
Dr Irfan said brain tumours can present with headache, fatigue, nausea, seizures, difficulty in speaking and the problem with vision, specifically a pituitary tumour affects one’s hormones and eye-sight. CT Scans and MRIs are used to diagnose Brain Tumor.
“Although, causes of brain tumour are not exactly known, however; there is an increased risk in certain rare genetic syndromes and exposure to radiation. Under Combined Group Neuro Oncology program, Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital is providing international standard treatment facilities of brain tumour. In this group, experienced neurosurgeons, radiation oncologists, radiologist and cancer pathologists for cancer grading are included.”
He said stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) is now available at Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre, Lahore, which is indeed a very significant advancement in the treatment of brain tumours.
“This is an advanced treatment through sophisticated computer guidance to deliver a highly targeted and high dose of radiation that conforms to the shape and size of a tumour, with fewer side effects. For some patients, this single-day, high-dose treatment can replace the daily delivery of lower doses of radiation over a course of therapy that can last up to six weeks. Most patients tolerate the treatment very well, and because it’s typically done in one day, it causes very little or no interruption in the delivery of other treatments such as chemotherapy. In addition, many patients can resume their normal activities the day after treatment. Awaiting patients for stereotactic radiosurgery include the patients with the disease not surgically accessible or is too advanced for neurosurgery, as well as those who cannot tolerate anaesthesia. Despite being an expensive type of treatment, all state-of-the-art treatment facilities for brain tumour are provided free of cost to the deserving patients at SKMCH&RC.”