Brain Tumor Surgery in India
A tumor is a group of tissues that gets formed by the growth of abnormal cells. Generally, the cells in your body grow with time, die, and then are recovered by new cells. With cancer and other tumors, something disturbs this whole process.
The growth of tumor cells is a natural process, however the body does not need them, and unlike normal old cells, they don't die as well. As this cycle goes on, the growth of tumor continues as more and more cells are added to the group.
Primary brain tumor is not cancerous at all and it is the one that initiates in the brain, benign brain tumors are not aggressive and normally do not spread around surrounding tissues, but sometimes they can be serious and even life threatening as well.
Primary brain tumors get developed from the different cells that make up the brain & central nervous system and are named for the kind of cell in which they first form. Gliomas as in astrocytic tumors are the most common types of adult brain tumors. These tumors develop from astrocytes and other types of glial cells, which are cells that help, keep nerves healthy.
The second most common type of adult brain tumors are meningeal tumors. These develop in the meninges i.e. the thin layer of tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord.
What are the symptoms of a Brain Tumor?
The symptoms of brain tumor may vary according to the type of tumor and its location. As the different areas of the brain controls different functions of the body, so the location of tumor will manipulate the affect of symptoms.
Some tumors show none of the symptoms until they become quite large and then cause a serious and rapid decline in health. Other tumors may have symptoms that develop slowly.
Headache is one of the most common initial symptom of a brain tumor. Mentioned below are some symptoms of brain tumor:
- Changes in speech or hearing
- Changes in vision
- Balance problems
- Problems while walking
- Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs
- Problems with memory
- Personality changes
- Unable to concentrate
It is very important to keep in mind that these symptoms of brain tumor can be caused by a variety of different conditions. Don't assume that you are having brain tumor just because you experience some of the symptoms mentioned above. Check with your doctor.
What causes brain tumor?
Brain tumor occurs in people more likely because of genetic or inherited conditions rather than the environmental ones. Exposure to vinyl chloride or ionizing radiation can be one environmental cause of brain tumor.
Predominantly, a brain tumor is caused by mutations of tumor suppressor genes. The inherited conditions that bring about brain tumor are Von Hippel-Lindau Disease, multiple endocrine neoplasia and neurofibromatosis type 2. Mobile phone radiations are also considered to be carcinogenic that may cause malignant brain tumor.
Types of Brain Tumors:
- Acoustic neuroma
- Brain metastases
- Choroid plexus carcinoma
- Embryonal tumors
- Pediatric brain tumors
- Pituitary tumors
How are Brain Tumors diagnosed?
The doctor simply starts by asking questions about your symptoms and will take some personal and family health history to diagnose a brain tumor. Then the doctor will perform a physical exam, consisting of a neurological test. The doctor may request one or more of the following tests if there is a reason to suspect brain tumor:
- Imaging studies such as a CT(CAT) scan or MRI to see detailed images of the brain
- MRA or Angiogram, which involve the use of dye and X-rays of blood vessels in the brain
The doctor can also perform a biopsy to determine whether the brain tumor is cancerous or not. A sample of tissue is extracted from the brain either during surgery or with a needle inserted via a small hole drilled into the skull before treatment is started. The sample is then sent to a lab for testing.
Treatment of Brain Tumor
A craniotomy is one of the surgical techniques which is primarily used to extract a brain tumor. The surgery involves making an incision in the scalp and removing part of the skull bone around the problem area with specialized equipment, creating what is known as a bone flap. The bone flap is then temporarily removed, separating the dura matter from the bone to expose the brain.
Excess fluid is drained and devices will be attached to determine the pressure in the brain. With the help of computer imaging and guidance, it will become easy to locate and remove the brain tumor with the help of a neurosurgeon.
In some of the cases, the bone flap can be left out of place if there is an occurrence of excess pressure in the brain. It will be put back into place once the pressure is lowered down. The incision site is then sutured and a bandage is applied. After the surgery, the patient is then taken to ICU (intensive care unit) to be monitored closely.
Another type of brain tumor surgery is a neuroendoscopy which is a minimally invasive surgery. The surgery involves removing the brain tumor through small incisions, rather than through one large incision. This kind of surgery creates access to the tumor that cannot be possible to reach via traditional surgery.
An endoscope which is fitted with a light & camera is inserted through a small incision. The doctor is capable of viewing brain tumor on a computer screen and can attach tools to the endoscope to help in the removal of the brain tumor. Once removed, the endoscope is removed and the incision sites are closed with sutures.
Once a brain tumor has been diagnosed, surgery is typically the first option to remove the tumor. Although some of the tumors can't be surgically extracted because of their location in the brain.
In those cases where surgery can't be performed to remove brain tumor, chemotherapy and radiation therapy may be some options for diminishing and shrinking the tumor. At times, chemotherapy or radiation is also used after surgery to kill any leftover cancer cells.
Tumors that are present deep in the brain or in areas that are difficult to reach can be treated with the help of Gamma Knife therapy, which is a form of highly focused radiation therapy.
It's important to discuss possible side and long-term effects of whatever treatment is being used with your doctor because cancer treatment can also damage healthy tissues. The doctor can also explain the importance of planning for rehabilitation after the treatment is done. Rehabilitation could involve working with several different therapists, such as:
- To regain strength and balance - Physical Therapist
- To address problems with speaking, expressing thoughts, or swallowing - Speech Therapist
- To help manage daily activities such as using the bathroom, bathing, and dressing - Occupational Therapist
Risk factors related to brain tumor
In most people who are having primary brain tumors, the cause of the tumor is not clear. But doctors have come up with some factors that may increase your risk of a brain tumor.
Risk factors of brain tumor include:
- Exposure to radiation - People who have been exposed to a type of radiation called ionizing radiation have an increased risk of brain tumor. Examples of ionizing radiation involve radiation therapy which is used to treat cancer and radiation exposure caused by atomic bombs.
- Family history of brain tumors - A small portion of brain tumors occurs in people with a family history of brain tumors or a family history of genetic syndromes that increase the risk of brain tumors.
Which are the best hospitals available for the treatment of Brain Tumor?
Some of the best hospitals available for the treatment of Brain Tumor are:
- BLK Super Specialty Hospital, Delhi
- Indraprastha Apollo Hospital, New Delhi
- Fortis Escorts Heart Institute, New Delhi
- Artemis Hospital, Gurgaon
- Primus Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi
- Pushpawati Singhania Research Institute, New Delhi
- Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon
- Max Super Specialty Hospital, New Delhi
- Sarvodaya Hospital, Faridabad
- Rockland Hospital, New Delhi
- Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, New Delhi
- Global Hospitals, Hyderabad
- Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Hospital, Mumbai
- Narayana Multispecialty Hospital, Bangalore
- Batra Hospital & Medical Research Centre, New Delhi
- Jaypee Hospital, Noida
- Columbia Asia Hospital, Gurgaon
- Jaslok Hospital, Mumbai
- Apollo Hospitals, Chennai
What affects the final cost of treatment of Brain Tumor?
- Technology used
- Type of anesthesia or sedation
- Qualifications/expertise of specialist
- Incision location/type
- Extent of surgery needed
- The patient's general health
- The patient's diagnosis
What is the cost of the treatment of brain tumor in India?
India is known to be one of the most favorite destinations for medical tourism as it provides affordable healthcare solutions which are best in the world. The cost of the treatment of brain tumor in India is very affordable as compared to any other country. The success rate of brain tumor surgery in India is also very high. Such huge availability of experienced and qualified surgeons with best healthcare facilities adds more to the success rate of brain tumor surgeries performed in India.
This branch of medicine is highly specialized, which further makes it difficult to determine the cost before reviewing the case. The cost of the treatment of Brain Tumor in India will range from Rs. 4 lakhs to Rs. 6 lakhs depending upon the size of tumor.
The charges mentioned in the above packages are just an estimate and are subject to change, depending on the medical problem and condition of the patient. These are not final packages as post-surgical complications also have a say in the actual bill.
Why people choose India for the treatment of Brain Tumor?
If we compare with the past, India now has new techniques available for accurately finding out lesions in the brain, which is important before the treatment of brain tumor can be initiated. India uses integrative treatment procedures for the treatment of a brain tumor. These consists the following methods:
- Brain suite or intra-operative MR navigation microsurgery
- Stereotactic radio surgery
- Trans-nasal removal of a brain tumor via the nose with an endoscopic procedure
- Neuro-interventional radiology for tumor embolization
These certain procedures for the treatment of brain tumor if supported by advanced computer screening enables surgeons to find a tumor, which is present in a remote corner of the brain. Such tumors are otherwise difficult to reach through traditional means.
During the surgery, doctors can keep an eye on the instrument to see the movement within brain, thus ensuring complete control over a tumor inside the brain. ''Real-time'' imaging helps to check if a brain tumor has been successfully removed as planned.
The reason why India is the most preferred destination for patients from all over the world is that of the country's most knowledgeable and skilled doctors, low cost endoscopic brain biopsy, adequately-trained English speaking nurses and staff and advanced treatment options.
Gone are the days when a brain tumor was a scary health condition since modern surgical procedures and advanced technology have made it a successful process. India offers all types of facilities that are required to treat patients while ensuring perfect clinical outcomes so that they can return back to their normal lives as quickly as possible.