Every year, on the 8th of June, World Brain Tumour Day is observed worldwide. This global initiative, initially established by the German Brain Tumour Association, aims to increase awareness about brain tumours and educate the public on this often-misunderstood condition. In this article, we will delve into the origins of brain tumours, shed light on important facts, and explore meaningful ways to observe this significant day.
Brain tumours can originate within the brain itself or result from the spread of cancer cells from other parts of the body. Common types of primary brain tumours include gliomas, meningiomas, pituitary adenomas, and acoustic neuromas. In India, the incidence of central nervous system (CNS) tumours is on the rise, accounting for approximately 2% of all malignancies. Recognizing the manifestations of brain tumours is crucial, as they often present with nonspecific symptoms such as headaches, altered mental status, nausea, vomiting, weakness, and seizures.
Given the nonspecific nature of initial symptoms, early diagnosis by a neurosurgeon or neuro physician plays a vital role in managing brain tumours effectively. Imaging techniques like CT scans and MRIs aid in diagnosis. Treatment options vary depending on the type and stage of the tumour. Maximal safe surgical resection is a common approach, complemented by radiotherapy and oral chemotherapy for malignant tumours. However, it's important to note that not all brain tumour diagnoses carry a bleak prognosis. Benign tumours can be completely cured through surgical removal, while even malignant tumours can offer long-term survival possibilities with precise surgery and innovative treatment modalities based on molecular staging.
Recent studies on molecular markers have opened new avenues for treating brain and spine tumours. The emergence of personalized treatment based on the molecular characteristics of the tumour has revolutionised the field. With the judicious use of techniques such as stereotaxy, neural monitoring, and brain mapping, brain tumour surgeries have become safer and more precise. In select cases, stereotactic radiosurgery can even be employed as a non-invasive alternative. Rehabilitation and a strong support system provided by friends and family are essential for optimising patient outcomes.
On this significant day, we can all contribute to raising awareness and supporting those affected by brain tumours. Consider participating in events organized by local brain tumour associations, hospitals, or support groups. These gatherings provide opportunities to learn more about brain tumours, share personal experiences, and promote a sense of community. You can also join online campaigns, utilize social media platforms to spread awareness or organize fundraising activities to support brain tumour research and patient care.
World Brain Tumour Day serves as a reminder of the importance of education, early detection, and continued research in the field of brain tumours. By coming together on this day, we can create a powerful impact, dispel myths, and provide hope to those affected. Let us celebrate the resilience of individuals facing brain tumours, honor the progress made in diagnosis and treatment, and pledge our support towards a future free from the burden of brain tumours.