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World Brain Tumour Day 2021: All About The Prevention Of Brain Tumours

World Brain Tumour Day is observed on 8 June every year to create awareness about this serious condition. In this article here's all about the prevention of brain tumour you need to know.

World Brain Tumour Day 2021: All About The Prevention Of Brain Tumours

World Brain Tumour Day: Strong headaches, blurred vision can be a sign of brain tumour

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. World Brain Tumour Day is observed on 8 June every year
  2. A brain tumor is a collection, or mass, of abnormal cells in your brain
  3. Treatments include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy

Brain tumour is an overgrowth of cells in your brain that forms masses called tumours. Cancerous tumours, otherwise called malignant brain tumours can grow very quickly and disrupt the functioning of the brain. Common symptoms of brain tumours include headache, change of personality, weakness or numbness of some part of the body, speech difficulty, loss of balance and fits. It is estimated that people have around 1% chance of developing brain tumours in their lifetime. The well-established risk factors for developing brain tumour are exposure to ionizing radiation and a family history of brain cancer.

Other factors which may contribute to the development of brain tumours include increasing age, smoking, exposure to chemicals and pesticides and some infections.

World Brain Tumour Day 2021: Understanding the prevention of brain tumour


1. Ionizing radiation

People who receive radiation therapy for medical reasons are at risk. It is imperative that these procedures are done in centres where the procedure is performed equipped with modern machines using the lowest possible dose of radiation and good shielding protocols.

Also read: World Brain Tumour Day 2021: Understanding The Importance Timely Treatment For Brain Tumour

2. Nonionizing radiation

It has been suggested that low-frequency electromagnetic field from high current power transmission lines can increase the risk of brain tumours. Rigorous studies have so far not been able to establish a conclusive link

The parameter used to measure the radiation emitted by cell phones is the specific absorption rate (SAR). It may be prudent to use mobile phones with a low SAR value.

3. Occupational exposure

Workers in electrical, rubber and petroleum industries were once thought to be at increased risk. While the association is yet to be established conclusively, it is suggested that exposure to chemicals and pesticides may be minimized by using protective clothing, gloves and goggles when handling them.

4. Head trauma

There have been anecdotal studies reporting the risk of meningiomas following head injury. It is advisable to wear helmets while driving motorcycles and scoters at all times.

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Brain Tumour day 2021: Head injury can be one of the causes for brain tumour
Photo Credit: iStock

5. Allergies

Interestingly, it has been documented that patients having disorders associated with allergies, like bronchial asthma and eczema, are less prone to develop brain tumours.

6. Diet

Dietary constituents associated with an increased risk of brain tumours include N-nitroso compounds.

Ingestion of antioxidants, fruits, and vegetables may reduce the risk of brain tumours. Certain inhibitors of the nitrosation process like vitamins C and E, appear to reduce brain tumour risk in adults and children. Increased maternal intake of vegetables have been associated with a lowered brain tumour risk in the offspring.

Also read: Are All Brain Tumours Fatal? Expert Explains The Answer

7. Other sources of N-Nitroso compounds

N-Nitroso compounds are also a constituent of tobacco smoke, Alcohol, cosmetics, and automobile interiors and certain drugs.

While a majority of studies do not support an association between tobacco exposure and subsequent development of brain tumours like gliomas or meningioma, it is advisable to avoid tobacco in any form in view of the well-established risk of development of other types of cancer. Alcohol consumption is recommended to be avoided by the same logic.

It is advisable to keep the car windows open for a few minutes after switching the air conditioner on in hot weather, to let built up toxic air to escape.

Also read: Neuroendocrine Tumour: Rare Disease Revealed, Know Causes, Symptoms And More About It

8. Genetic

A small proportion of brain tumours are due to genetic syndromes that confer an increased risk of developing tumours of the nervous system. Genetic counselling of families in which these syndromes are prevalent is important to minimize the risk of development of brain tumours.

(Dr. CS Narayanan - HOD And Consultant - Department Of Neurology at Manipal Hospitals, Dwarka, New Delhi)


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