Glioma
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What is Glioma?

Glioma is a form of brain tumor that is quite prevalent. Gliomas account for around 33% of all brain cancers and arise from the glial cells that surround and support neurons in the brain.

Gliomas are malignant (cancerous), but some can grow slowly. These are primary brain tumors, which means they begin in the brain tissue. Gliomas rarely spread outside of the brain or spine, yet they are dangerous because they can be difficult to reach and treat surgically and also can expand into various parts of the brain.

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Types

  • Astrocytomas are glial cell tumors that grow from connective tissue cells known as astrocytes. They are most commonly found in the cerebrum (the vast, outer region of the brain), but they can also be found in the cerebellum (located at the base of the brain).
  • Brain stem gliomas, also known as diffuse infiltrating brainstem gliomas (DIPGs), are rare malignancies of the brain stem.
  • Ependymomas arise from ependymal cells that line the ventricles of the spinal cord. Ependymomas are uncommon, accounting for about 2% to 3% of all primary brain tumors.
  • Oligodendrogliomas develop from oligodendrocytes, the brain’s supporting tissue cells, and are typically seen in the cerebrum.
  • Optic pathway gliomas are a form of low-grade tumor that develops in the optic nerve or chiasm, where it frequently infiltrates the optic nerves, which transmit messages from the eyes to the brain.
  • Mixed gliomas (also known as oligo-astrocytomas) are tumors that contain more than one type of glial cell.

Causes

A glioma has no recognized cause. There are currently no environmental or behavioral risk factors (such as air pollution or smoking) that are known to directly contribute to the occurrence of gliomas, despite the fact that the initial cause is assumed to be connected to mutations in the DNA of the tumor cells.

Risk factors

Gliomas can affect anyone, however, the following things may make you more likely to get one:

  • Older people (over 65) and kids  (under 12)
  • White people may have a higher glioma risk than persons of other colors
  • Family history
  • Gliomas affect men somewhat more frequently than women
  • Prolonged or repeated exposure to radiation or specific chemicals 
Family history

Symptoms

Glioma symptoms may include:

  • Aphasia (issues with speaking and communicating) (problems with speaking and communicating).
  • Changes or loss of vision.
  • Cognitive issues (trouble thinking, learning, or remembering).
  • Difficulties walking or maintaining your equilibrium.
  • Dizziness.
  • Headaches.
  • Hemiparesis (weakness or numbness on one side of the body) (weakness or numbness on one side of the body).
  • Vomiting and nausea.
  • Changes in personality or conduct.
  • Seizures.
Cognitive issue

Diagnosis

Glioma diagnosis entails:

  • Assessing the patient’s physical state and eliciting information about their symptoms, as well as their personal and family medical histories.
  • A neurological examination assesses the strength, feeling, balance, coordination, reflexes, hearing, speech, vision, and memory of a person.
  • The most popular scans used to diagnose brain cancers are magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT or CAT scan), which use computers to create comprehensive images of the brain.
  • If your doctor notices an abnormal lump on your imaging tests, he or she will perform a biopsy. A biopsy is a process for analyzing a tissue sample.

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Treatment

Glioma treatment is personalized to each individual patient and may include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or observation.

  • Surgery can allow for the excision of tumor tissue in order to decrease cerebral pressure. This could be an emergency operation.
  • For some types of gliomas or those in regions where surgery is not possible, radiation therapy is used after surgery.
  • Certain high-grade gliomas require chemotherapy after surgery and radiation therapy, which may involve wafers and targeted therapy.
  • Following therapy, brain scans (often MRIs) may be conducted to monitor tumor progression. Neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists keep a careful eye on this to see if the glioma has returned.

When do we see Doctor?

If you experience any signs or symptoms that worry you, schedule a visit with your healthcare professional.

Prevention

Most glioma risk factors, such as age and gender, are unavoidable. Early detection and treatment of low-grade gliomas, on the other hand, may limit or prevent progression to high-grade gliomas. If brain tumors run in your family, you should think about genetic testing. 

Moreover, it is important to:

  • Minimize your head’s exposure to radiation.
  • preserving a healthy way of life.

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