The human body may get affected by the formation of tumors in various organs and bones. One such tumor that occurs in the spinal cord and the brain is called glioma. The nerve cells of the human body are surrounded by glial cells. Tumors begin in the supportive cells that are known as glial cells, and are usually present around the nerve cell, helping them in functioning.
There are a total of three types of glial cells that are capable of producing malignant tumors in the human body. Sometimes these tumors are a result of genetic features and sometimes they are formed from the various risk factors that cause a person to produce malignant cells. The classification of glioma tumor is according to the type of glial cell involved in the tumor if it is a genetic feature responsible for causing the tumor.
It will help to predict how the tumor will behave over time and also the countable treatments most likely to work.
Types Of Glioma Tumors
There are three types of glioma tumors capable of producing malignant cells that leads to brain cancer. These include the following:
- Oligodendroglioma - These tumors include anaplastic oligoastrocytoma, oligodendroglioma, and anaplastic oligodendroglioma.
- Astrocytoma - These include glioblastoma, astrocytoma, and Puma anaplastic astrocytoma
- Ependymomas - These include myxopapillary ependymoma, subependymoma, and anaplastic ependymoma.
The presence of glioma tumors is life-threatening and affects the functioning of the brain. Depending upon the rate of growth and its location, they are one of the most prominent brain tumors that are responsible for causing death due to brain cancer. The type of brain tumor present in a human body determines the prognosis and the treatment needed to counter the effects in general. Glioma tumors are treated by
- targeted therapy
- experimental clinical trials and
- radiation therapy
Radiation therapy is known to cause serious side effects responsible for even memory loss of the person suffering.
Symptoms Of Glioma Tumors
Conversion of glioma tumor cells into the malignant cells responsible for causing brain cancer, depends on the size and the location.
Common symptoms include:
- speech difficulties
- loss of memory
- a considerable decline in brain function
- urinary incontinence
- problems of vision such as double vision or peripheral vision or blurred vision
- difficulty in balancing
- personality changes
- frequent episodes of seizures especially if a person is alone
Causes And Risk Factors Responsible For Causing Glioma Tumors
The exact cause of glioma tumors is multifaceted. Some factors increase the risk of a brain tumor whereas some contribute towards the dominant genes present because of family heritance. The risk factors of primary brain tumors include the following:
Exposure To Radiation
People who are frequently exposed to ionizing radiation are at a greater risk of developing glioma tumors or any other form of brain tumor. The ionizing radiations can include:
- radiation therapy for any other in autoimmune diseases
- cancer therapy on going for any other part of the body
- Radiation exposure caused by atomic bombs is also responsible for causing brain tumors. Other forms of radiation include the common ones such as electromagnetic fields from power lines and radiofrequency.
- Radiation that comes out from microwave ovens although they are not as life-threatening as any other chemotherapy or radiation therapy, however a continuous exposure to microwave radiation is known to cause glioma at a later stage of the person
Cell phones are also considered one of the risk factors that include emitting radiation and are responsible for causing brain tumors. An association between cell phone and a type of brain tumor called acoustic neuroma is highly related to the potential impact of a cell phone causing brain tumors.
It is still being researched and experts recommend limiting the use of cell phones or a bluetooth speaker or a handsfree device because they are capable of radiating waves themselves. They are to some extent responsible for causing not only brain tumors but other sorts of malignant cells in the body.
Family History Of Glioma Tumors
The inheritance of genes causing brain tumors is rare to run in families. However, a history of glioma can double the risk of developing it. The weak association of glioma tumors along with the genes has still shown a few cases that have caused death but the confirming link between genetic variations and brain tumors is still on research.
Diagnosis Of Glioma Tumors
The diagnosis totally depends on the size and location of the tumor. If a brain tumor is suspected atypical, a brain scan and MRI scans are performed which is a superior testing therapy.
In some cases a CT scan, if there are signs of brain tumor biopsy is usually performed to confirm the diagnosis. The biopsy of a brain tumor is a whole separate procedure and may also result in the removal of the tumor if surgery is a treatment option.
When it comes to categorizing glioma, they are done on the basis of a numerical grading system. This means the grade of a tumor means how the cancer cells appear under a microscope.
There are grade 1 grade 2 and grade 4 tumors where:
- grade 1 tumors can be removed by surgery and also save the life of a person
- when it comes to grade 4 tumors they are aggressive fast-growing and difficult to be treated. Basically malignant cells that finally lead to a fatal scenario.
- Grade 3 tumors are more common in adults and they are considered of moderate grades and sometimes become difficult to be treated.
Treatment Of Glioma Tumor And Final Outcome
Treatment options are varying when it comes to matching tumors. The type of glioma cell that causes malignancy are all responsible in determining the treatment options. They may include:
- a radiation therapy where high energy radiation may be employed to kill the cancer cells.
- chemotherapy uses drugs to sell to stop cancer growth. This can be done by mouth by prescribing oral pills or even intravenous
Both radiation and chemotherapy are known to destroy the good cells thereby making a person repeat and more prone to death. Another treatment called a supportive therapy is done to improve the symptoms and neurologic function. It includes the employment of corticosteroids and reduces swelling in the brain, epilepsy.
It also includes the prescription of an anticonvulsant that controls or prevents seizures. Targeted therapies are used to help shrink the tumor. It works in a separate spark other than chemotherapy and targets certain proteins that are responsible for causing tumor growth.