The most important thing to do when it comes to brain tumor awareness is to educate yourself.
Morristown, NJ (PRWEB) May 03, 2013
Brain cancer is the second leading cause of cancer- related deaths in children and young adults. Early detection is extremely important when dealing with cancerous and benign brain tumors. For this reason, Atlantic NeuroSurgical Specialists (ANS) has launched an awareness campaign to educate the community on the importance of choosing a neurosurgeon for an accurate diagnosis.
“The most important thing to do when it comes to brain tumor awareness is to educate yourself,” states Dr . Kyle Chapple, one of several ANS brain tumor specialists. Most believe that patients only see a neurosurgeon when surgery is needed, but it is also true that neurosurgeons are the most qualified specialists to diagnose any ailments or injuries related to the nervous system.
Recognizing the Symptoms
The symptoms that are associated with brain tumors are very general and could be misleading.The warning signs of a brain tumor depend on the size and location, but here are some common symptoms:
- Headaches: These types of headaches occur primarily in the morning and are severe in nature.
- Seizures: Seizures are a sign only to those that don’t normally suffer from them, but occur in 15-95% of patients suffering from a brain tumor.
- Speech Disturbance: Difficulty in communicating with others, including problems speaking, reading, writing, and recognizing the names of objects.
- Vision Problems: Vision problems occur in 25% of patients. Eye care professionals can recognize signs of increased intracranial pressure.
- Behavioral and Cognitive Problems: You may experience problems with short-term memory, lack of concentration, and inability to find the right words.
- Nausea or Vomiting: Nausea and/or vomiting are symptoms that are more likely to point toward a brain tumor when accompanied with the other symptoms mentioned above.
Important Screening Information
MRI screening is the best method for detecting brain tumors, but most patients do not get their first MRI until they are already experiencing symptoms of a tumor. Scheduling an MRI as part of a yearly exam is the best way to detect a brain tumor early. Here are some things to know about MRI screenings:
- An MRI can detect a tumor when it is only the size of a pea.
- Brain scans are quick; usually lasting less than 10 minutes.
- Brain scans are non-invasive, pain-free, and do not emit radiation.
Brain tumors can be effectively treated. “While many of the tumors of the nervous system can be cured by surgery alone, others require a more comprehensive treatment plan including chemotherapy and radiation in addition to surgery,” states New Jersey neurosurgeon Dr.Chapple. "Recent innovations in all three of these treatment modalities have allowed even patients with the highest grade tumors to live longer with extended, symptom-free intervals.”
Other things to know:
- Almost half of all brain tumors are not cancerous and are slow growing.
- If a patient is diagnosed with a brain tumor, a treatment plan can be designed to fit their individual needs and lifestyle.
Support for Patients
In 2012, ANS started a support group for patients called Partnership of Hope. Employees of ANS volunteer their time to hold the support group once a month for patients and their loved ones suffering from brain tumors. Patients can share stories or just sit back and listen to others tell theirs. In addition to dinner and open discussions, ANS provides a guest speaker at every meeting. The doctors mingle with the patients and there are plenty of interactive activities for everyone to enjoy. At one meeting, massages were available for anyone who wanted one. At another meeting, ANS brought in a makeup artist and a hypnotist. Volunteers also work outside of the meeting to accommodate the everyday needs of patients who are not able to care for themselves. Partnership of Hope offers patients transportation to doctors’ appointments, prepared meals, child care, additional counseling, grocery shopping, and more.
For more information about ANS and Partnership of Hope or to view a listing of all hospitals they are affiliated with in the tri-state area, visit http://www.ansdocs.com or call 973-285-7800.