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  • Writer's pictureRaveesh Sunkara

Brain Tumour Myths Debunked

Updated: Feb 11

A brain tumor is unbeatable. The best brain tumor specialist will tell you otherwise. The word brain tumor is terrifying, and patients are usually depressed immediately after receiving news about such a diagnosis. Much of this fear can be related to the notions our Indian movies and media have propagated with a show that brain tumor is usually the end of life.

All brain tumors are not fatal. Some are cancerous, while most others are benign. They come in two varieties: slow-growing and fast-growing. They can originate primarily from the brain or spread as secondaries from cancers in other body parts. Regardless of the type of brain tumor, there are treatment options available. A lot of them are benign and completely curable. It is possible to have a long life even with cancerous brain tumors with the proper treatment. According to 2021 ICMR hospital-based cancer registries, cancers of the brain and nervous system accounted for less than 2% of cancers, far less than other cancers like head and neck, lung, or breast cancers. According to the American cancer society, the risk of developing a primary malignant tumor of the brain over your lifetime is less than 1 percent compared to a woman developing breast cancer which is around 14%, or male developing lung cancer, which is 7 percent. Still, brain tumors can hamper the quality of life, so people always ponder how to minimize the risks of developing such tumors. Knowing the facts, not falling prey to the myths, and losing hope is the first thing one can do after receiving news on such a diagnosis about yourself or your loved ones. Dr. Raveesh Sunkara, the neurosurgeon and the best brain tumor specialist in Hyderabad, spills some of the most popular myths about brain tumors. Myth 1: Brain Tumours Are Caused By Cell Phones Or Microwaves.

Fact: there is no evidence suggesting that mobile phones or microwaves cause brain tumors. Prolonged exposure to radiation in industrial or other professional scenarios can have adverse side effects and should not be taken lightly. Myth 2: A Dental X-Ray Can Lead To A Brain Tumour.

Fact: Some studies published that found dental x-rays were associated with a high risk of meningiomas; however, these are old studies and used ray machines with high doses of radiation. They are no longer used in any modern facilities. Myth 3: Artificial Sweeteners Cause Brain Tumours.

Fact: There is no such evidence.US FDA publishes more than 100 studies regarding their safety. However, avoiding the frequent use of food additives is beneficial for overall well-being.

Myth 4: All Brain Tumours Are Deadly.

Fact: There are multiple types of brain tumors. Tumors like meningiomas or schwannomas are benign and are completely curable. Cancerous brain tumors are also curable if they are low grade. Only the aggressive WHO Grade 4 tumors pose an immediate danger to life, and treatment options are ever-evolving and promising even for them. Myth 5: You Will Get A Brain Tumour For Sure If Your Family Member Has Been Diagnosed With One.

Fact: This is a false statement. Only a few conditions like neurofibromatosis(NF1 and NF2), Li Fraumeni syndrome, etc., have an established genetic predisposition. They constitute a very small portion of brain tumor types. Other than that, anecdotal reports of meningiomas and clusters of brain tumors within some families have been reported. Studies are still underway to establish such theories. Myth 6: Brain Tumours Occur Only In Old Patients.

Fact: Brain tumors can occur at any age. It is the second most common cancer in children. Each type of brain tumor is associated with a specific age group. However, deviations from this presentation occur commonly. Myth 7: All Brain Tumours Present With Headache, Blurring Of Vision.

Fact: Symptoms are brain tumors are not constant and vary significantly according to the size and location of the brain. Some brain tumors can be silent with no symptoms until an advanced stage, whereas some might show early signs. Myth 8: Lifestyle Modifications Can Ensure Brain Tumours Do Not Occur.

Fact: This is not true. No studies have been published that indicate a strong correlation between lifestyle and brain tumors. That being said, maintaining a healthy lifestyle with regular exercise and staying away from smoking, chewing tobacco, or overconsumption of alcohol ensures a healthy body that can tolerate the treatment of such tumors in case they occur. Take a sigh. Brain tumors are curable in our scientifically advanced generation. But don’t be late for your checkup in the best brain tumor clinic in Hyderabad, if you suspect anything.

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