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Brain tumour can be treated, cured if detected early, says oncologist - Yara.ng
Home Health & Food Brain tumour can be treated, cured if detected early, says oncologist 

Brain tumour can be treated, cured if detected early, says oncologist 

by James Davies


Lara Adejoro

A consultant clinical radiation oncologist at the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority-Lagos University Teaching Hospital Cancer Centre, Idi-Araba, Dr. Adedayo Joseph says not all brain tumours automatically lead to death. 

According to the oncologist, many brain tumours can be successfully treated or even cured if detected early.

A brain tumour is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain. Some brain tumours are noncancerous (benign) while some are cancerous (malignant).

Speaking in an interview with PUNCH HealthWise, Joseph said, “People think that brain tumour means that people can’t survive but brain tumours are completely survivable depending on the kind of tumour. 

“Some tumours are curable and some are benign growth because the brain is such a confined space and anything going on there can cause a lot of problems. 

“Not all brain tumours automatically lead to death; many of them can be successfully treated or even cured.”

She said more people are becoming aware of brain tumour because of the increased awareness and diagnosis. 

“The incidence is increasing but not necessarily because the rate has increased but possibly because we have more ability to diagnose accurately,” she added.

Dr. Joseph noted that brain tumours occur in different parts of the brain and the kind of tumours that occur in children is different from the kinds that occur in adults.

“Children are more likely to develop brain tumor in the lower part of the brain while adults develop tumours in the upper or more interior part of the brain. 

“The signs and symptoms of brain tumours depend on the location but headaches are a common symptom of a brain tumour. You may experience difficulty in walking, vomiting.

“Some people have instability that looks like stroke, weakness, dizziness, difficulty in speaking, difficulty understanding speech, hormonal symptoms especially in children,” she said.

The oncologist said the first treatment option for brain tumour is surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible without causing damage to the healthy parts of the brain.

“When surgery is either not an option, or there is no way to remove the entire tumour or it’s a kind of tumour that sends metastases to the Central Nervous System, you can have additional radiation therapy and sometimes, chemotherapy.

“Radiation is a very important part of treating brain tumour,” Joseph said.

She, however, noted that one of the challenges facing patients with brain tumours is the paucity of facilities. 

“For patients in the village, it can take them kilometers to get to the nearest hospitals and that hospital might not have a computerised tomography scan or a Magnetic resonance imaging or the hospitals may not have the capacity to treat cancer,” she said.

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