Neurological cancer involves the central nervous system that means the brain and spinal cord. Neurological cancer may occur in the brain or spine or both areas. Uncontrollable growth of cells inside the brain forms a mass that gradually turns into brain cancer. However, the nature of brain mass may be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). Malignant neurological tumors can spread to adjoining tissue and involve other parts of the brain and spinal cord. However, a large benign brain tumor can also cause neurological cancer symptoms. The rate of neurological cancer incidence is moderate that can occur in the brain, spinal cord, and other parts of the nervous system. Both adults and children can develop neurological cancer. Children below 10 years of age and adults between 30 to 50 years can develop cancer.
Neurological cancer symptoms
Cancer symptoms occur at neurological part does not provide similar symptom to every individual. Following are some common symptom occurs in neurological cancer:
- Speech difficulty and vision problem
- Difficulty during walking
- Alertness altered
- Memory power changes
- Concentration issues
- Personality difficulty
- Nausea and vomiting
A person who is experiencing above mentioned symptoms needs to consult with a doctor to confirm the underlying cause of the symptoms.
Different diagnostic tools are used to confirm neurological cancer progression.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): A strong magnetic field and radio waves are used in MRI to obtain an image of soft tissues of the body.
3T MRI: This is an advanced version of the MRI scanner that provides more thorough scans for superior exactness in the diagnosis of neurological cancer.
Open MRI: Open MRI allows your doctor to treat you during the scan – for example, the doctor could perform a real-time neurological tumor biopsy during the MRI.
Functional MRI: Functional MRI can locate the tumor spreading at speech, sensation, memory, and other functional centers present in the brain. It is necessary to mention that these centers can vary from person to person. The chances of shifting of brain tumors at these centers can also be possible. The doctor often orders a Functional MRI for mapping the brain structure of the individual patient. This is necessary before surgery, radiation therapy, and other interventional treatments.
16-slice CT (computed tomography): A cross-sectional image of the brain can obtain through 16-slice CT. This modern diagnostic tool provides greater speed and precise detail than a conventional CT.
PET/CT: Doctor gets anatomical data from the CT scan. PET scan gives the metabolic information. This diagnostic tool can provide the image of pinpoint smaller tumors and also helps to identify the extent of neurological cancer.
Neuropsychological exam: Patients who have a complaint of cognitive difficulties or a thinking ability alteration, the doctor may refer the patient for a neuropsychological evaluation to examine memory, attention, learning, concentration, verbal comprehension, processing speed, visual perception, sensory functions, and basic motor, problem-solving, reasoning, and more.
Doctors can recommend the following treatment after finding positive diagnostic tests of neurological cancer depending upon the patient’s condition and their preference.
Surgery is recommended for some neurological cancer, but usually, surgery is followed by chemotherapy or radiation, or immunotherapy.
The high beam energy is passed through radiation to destroy or prevent the cancer cells to stop the growth.
Chemotherapy often prescribes in a combination with radiation or surgery to fight against cancer.
Autologous stem cell treatment (ASCT)
The term Autologous can define as the stem cells that had been taken from a patient’s body before chemo/radiation are reverted afterward. ASCT is a procedure that aids in bone marrow rebuilding after chemotherapy. This treatment is recommended after giving a high dose of chemotherapy that destroys healthy stem cells along with neurological cancer cell growth.
Immunotherapy activates the immune system against cancer growth by destroying healthy tissue. Cancer immunization triggers the immune system to attack cancer growth and prevent the spreading of cancer. Cancer immunotherapy also reduces the recurrence risk.
After recovery from cancer, patients often face difficulty in walking, balancing, and strength-building. Occupational therapy helps to get back the life skills for eating, dressing, and going to the bathroom. Speech therapy is another rehabilitation therapy to overcome the difficulties related to talking and swallowing.