Brain Tumours Awareness

Brain Tumours Awareness - Summit Surgical

Worldwide, an estimated 308,102 people were diagnosed with primary brain tumours or spinal cord tumours in 2020. Whereas an estimated 251,329 people died from primary cancerous brain and CNS tumours in 2020, worldwide. (

These statistics are most likely greatly underestimated as people in many regions across the world still have very little awareness of the existence of brain tumours and are, therefore, not getting the diagnoses required.

It is especially for this reason that wider awareness campaigns of this disease are so vital, not only for medical professionals but mainly for those who may be living with a malignant brain tumour to get it diagnosed and treated properly.

What is a brain tumour?

A brain tumour is a collection of abnormal cells in your brain. The tumour may originate in the brain (primary) or may be “metastatic” (from cancer elsewhere in the body). A brain tumour may be non-malignant (not cancerous), however the location of the tumour can have devastating consequences.(

What are the signs and symptoms of having a brain tumour?

Symptoms may vary based on size, location and type of tumour. Symptoms may include headaches, numbness and tingling in an arm or leg, seizures, memory or cognition (thinking) problems, nausea and vomiting, changes in speech, vision or hearing. People with brain tumours may also have unexplained changes in personality. Brain tumour symptoms may start gradually (weeks to months) or rapidly, potentially leading to an urgent visit to the emergency room or primary provider/general practitioner. (

Can brain tumours be cured?

Some brain tumours are found on a scan unexpectedly, they need to be observed through repeated scanning and they remain the same size. Some brain tumours require surgical removal and they do not regrow. Other brain tumours may be very aggressive and invasive. These tumours require a variety of treatments, and they may come back over time. (

What is the treatment for brain tumours?

The first treatment for a brain tumour is usually surgery if it is safe and appropriate, as assessed by a neurosurgeon and their team. Sometimes only a biopsy is recommended if a tumour is in a difficult location in the brain. For malignant (cancerous) tumours surgery is rarely the only treatment. After a surgeon has obtained a pathological diagnosis of the tumour (from lab tests of the tumour tissue) and if it is determined that the tumour is malignant, the patient will then be referred to a neuro-oncologist and/or radiation-oncologist. The healthcare team will then decide – in consultation with the patient and the family – what is the best course of treatment for the patient’s tumour based on additional pathological testing. Treatment may include medications, like steroids to decrease swelling. The patient may also be advised to undergo chemotherapy (drugs that attack cancers) and radiation (of which there are a number of different types). The chemotherapy may be given alone or at the same time as radiation therapy. (

The 2022 International Brain Tumour Awareness Week will be held from Saturday, 29th October 2022 to Saturday 5th November 2022 to raise wider awareness of this critical disease around the world.