By Brian George
Awful and Unpredictable:
Primary Brain Tumours are cells that have grown out of control. These start in the brain first and develop when something inside a cell goes wrong, then it carries on growing or spreading and grows into a lump or tumour.
Secondary Brain Tumours start as cancer in another part of the body and spread to the brain.
Non-Cancerous or Benign Tumours often grow slowly and with treatment do not continue to grow or spread to other parts of the brain.
These tumours tend to happen more in older people, often averaging over 75 years. Although they can happen in those much younger statistics show that 25 out of every 100 people diagnosed with brain tumours of both primary and secondary types are in that older age bracket.
Malignant Brain Tumours These are the real killers, they grow quickly and are mostly of the Primary type, come back after treatment, and spread across the brain.
Each year in the UK around 5500 people on average are diagnosed with malignant brain tumours. As a percentage of the population that is a rare rate of occurrence, but no less painful to those families affected by them.
Types of Brain Tumours
The brain is made up of many cells and tissues and there are over 130 actual types of brain tumours.
You can find the link to the full list of medical names for these at the bottom of this article.
Personal and Emotional
In my whole life, I’ve only known a few people who have suffered from any type of brain tumour. The deterioration of those with malignant tumours over a relatively short period after diagnosis was shocking. To see them absolutely helpless and outwardly normal in appearance fade into a zombie-like shell was difficult to cope with. As personal friends, they asked to be treated as if there were nothing wrong, until they could not even move or function.
Two personal friends asked to be taken to the pub, to sit and just enjoy a drink with old pals. They stared into space despite us talking and chatting around them. After a couple of beers, they had to be helped to the men’s room and assisted with even that function. It must have helped them on their way as they both cheered up and left this life peacefully within weeks of that outing. Both passed away quietly at home with specialist nursing and family around them to say goodbye.
However, it is often happier when despite a serious operation I’ve known at least three who survived and lived to very old age. Like all serious diseases, medical science has evolved and it is said that advances and early diagnosis are the reason for more tumours being recorded.