Brain Tumor: A Very Hard Diagnostic


A brain tumor is intracranial tumor created by abnormal cell divisions (neurons, astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, ependymal cells, lymphatic tissue, blood vessels, cranial nerves, Schwann cells that produce myelin), pituitary and pineal gland from a tumor or cancer primarily located in other organs (metastatic tumors). Cranial primary tumors often are located in the posterior fossa in children and in two-thirds of the cerebral hemispheres in adults, although they can affect any part of the brain. Its incidence was estimated at about 1.4% of all cancers and 2.4% of all deaths from cancer.


In the U.S., 43,800 new cases of brain tumors were reported in 2005 (13,000 people die annually in this country) 7 or 1.4 percent of all cancers in the U.S., 2.4% of all cancer8 deaths and 20-25 percent of cancers in children.
In Europe, the incidence rate of malignant tumors of the central nervous system (4090 new cases in 2005 in France) has steadily increased from 1% per annum over the period 1980-200510.
It is important to separate the so-called primitive tumors and metastases:

  • Primary tumors represent about 3% of cancers, their incidence is estimated at 8 / 100000 population per AN11.
  • The number of patients with metastases is difficult to estimate because they are not always sought and are often asymptomatic. It is estimated however that about 25% of patients with cancer develop metastasis.


It is via a neurological examination and often via the scanner that allows an injury (stroke) of the tumor and to clarify the point, the location, the possibility that multiple. In case of doubt, a brain biopsy is done under general anesthesia through a needle puncture guided through a 3D tracking produced with the scanner. Metastases invite to seek and treat the original cancer (blood tests, colonoscopy and possible biological markers, scanner, endoscopy lung mammography are then prescribed by the oncologist)


The first symptoms are chronic or intermittent are often severe headaches accompanied by nausea and vomiting caused by intracranial hypertension caused by tumor, more strongly felt in the morning. It may also include dizziness or vertigo, disturbances in vision (double vision), with or without psychomotor disturbances (weakness or numbness on one side of the body, loss of coordination), all increase with the daily activities. Patients often note the entourage or disorder of mood, senses, personality or feelings, loss of memory or mental confusion. Some cancers of the brain can cause seizures. The seizures in patients who had never presented must always lead to a complete neurological examination and research of a brain tumor focus.


It depends on the nature of the position and the progress of the tumor.

  • Metastases also involve treating the original cancer (surgery, chemotherapy and / or cerebral radiotherapy).
  • A primary cancer is treated surgically or by chemotherapy and / or cerebral radiotherapy.
  • A lymphoma will undergo radiation therapy and sometimes chemotherapy, as appropriate.
  • The GammeKnife for small tumors.


They are often poorly understood and probably multifactorial. Environmental causes are suspected. Various studies are underway to better assess the potential liability of certain suspected carcinogens, including pesticides, certain endocrine disrupters (which may be acting in utero and at very low dose) and exposure to microwaves from mobile phone or antennae.
A 1998 study by JF Viel had detected a higher mortality among 800,000 farmers and farm workers aged 35-74 years in 89 regions of France, with a significantly higher incidence of brain cancer among those most exposed to pesticides .
This survey adds to others that suggest that pesticides may promote brain cancer among growers, farmers or gardeners. As farmers most at risk individuals using pesticides for their indoor plants increased their risk of developing a brain tumor 15 highly exposed farmers have more than doubled the risk (all brain tumors combined) and is more than tripled gliomas. The author stresses that his sample was small (221 adults affected with brain tumors and 442 controls without the disease) and other studies must confirm the link between cause and effect in a more representative sample.

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  1. One Response to “Brain Tumor: A Very Hard Diagnostic”

  2. By Maya Kaidartsi on Dec 13, 2011 | Reply

    The nervous system of young children has not yet reached a point where the developing brain can be protected from the toxins and chemicals in the environment.

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