Essay on Tumour! Introduction: A tumour is a growth or lump of tissue resulting from abnormal new cell growth and reproduction due to the loss of normal growth-control mechanisms. There are two major types of tumours, benign and malignant, with respect to overall form or growth pattern. A tumour that is not capable of indefinite growth and does not invade the healthy surrounding tissue extensively is called benign, whereas a tumour that continues to grow and becomes progressively invasive is referred to as malignant; the term cancer refers specifically to a malignant tumour. Malignant or cancerous tumour cells can actively spread throughout the body in a process known as metastasis. Metastasis is a process in which small clusters of cancerous cells dislodge from a tumour, invade the blood or lymphatic vessels, and are carried to other tissues where they continue to proliferate establishing secondary tumours. Malignant tumours or cancers are classified according to the embryonic origin of the tissue from which the tumour is derived. The leukomas and lymphomas are the malignant tumours or cancers of hematopoietic cells of the bone marrow; these tumours are not solid like carcinomas, but cell suspensions. Leukemias proliferate as single cells, whereas lymphomas tend to grow cell masses. Sarcomas are derived from mesodermal connective tissues (e.g. bone, fat, cartilage) and arise less frequently. Tumour Evasion of the Immune System: Although the immune system of the body clearly can respond to malignant tumour cells (cancerous cells) and destroy them, the fact that a large number of individuals become the victims of cancer every year and finally die suggests that the immune response to tumour cells is often ineffective. The tumour cells, with the help of certain mechanisms, appear to evade the immune system of the body and cause death of the individual. Some important mechanisms of tumour evasion of immune system are the following: Serum blocking factors: Experimental search was conducted about three decades ago to test the ability of serum (taken from tumour bearing individuals) to block tumour cell killing by lymphocytes of the immune system. The result demonstrated was that the serum from tumour bearing individuals (animals as well as humans) do contains certain ‘blocking factors’ that can abrogate killing of the target tumour cells by lymphocytes immune to their specific antigens. These blocking factors are, most probably, the complexes formed between the antigens released from the tumours and antibodies formed by the host. Immunosuppressive secretions: Some tumour cells may secrete immunosuppressive compounds, which inhibit the activity of nearby immune cells. This immunosuppressive activity is exhibited by alpha fetoprotein secreted by tumour cells and prostaglandins released by macrophages of tumour-bearing hosts. Tumour Immunotherapy: Since it was recognized that many tumour cells do evade an immune response and make large number of individuals victims of cancer each year, much effort has been made to make immunotherapy a successful approach to treat cancer. One such immunotherapic approach to treat cancer is to augment or supplement the natural defence mechanisms of the body. Several types of devices to treat cancer are in current use or under development; some important ones are the following: Vaccination: Vaccination is another approach to counter cancer. Chickens have been protected from Merek’s lymphoma by vaccination. Mice has been vaccinated against malignant melanoma. In this case the normal mice were first vaccinated (immunized) with irritated melanoma cells and then challenged with unaltered malingnant melanoma cells. The vaccine was found to protect a high percentage of the mice. It is hoped from these experimental results that a similar vaccine might prevent metastasis after surgical removal of primary melanoma in some human. Mutagenic drugs: Treatment of cancer cells with mutagenic drugs leads to expression of new (and hopefully strong) antigenic determinants on cancer cells which can mount a powerful immunological response against cancer cells. Brain cancers include primary brain tumours, which start in the brain and almost never spread to other parts of the body, and secondary tumours (or metastases), which are caused by cancers that began in another part of the body. There are more than 40 major types of brain tumours, which are grouped into two main types: – slow-growing and unlikely to spread. Common types are meningiomas, neuromas, pituitary tumours and craniopharyngiomas. malignant – cancerous and able to spread into other parts of the brain or spinal cord. Common types include astrocytomas, oligodendrogliomas, glioblastomas and mixed gliomas. In 2014, 1710 brain cancers were diagnosed in Australia. The risk of being diagnosed with a brain cancer by age 85 is 1 in 107 for men and 1 in 157 for women. In 2015, there were 1391 deaths in Australia caused by brain cancer. Brain cancer symptoms Headaches are often the first symptom of a brain tumour. The headaches can be mild, severe, persistent, or come and go. A headache isn’t always a brain tumour but if you’re worried, be sure to see your GP. Other symptoms include: difficulty speaking or remembering words disturbed vision, hearing, smell or taste seizures: severe (e.g. a convulsion) or mild (a fleeting disturbance of awareness, sensation or jerking muscles) weakness or paralysis in part of the body loss of balance general irritability, drowsiness or a change in personality nausea and vomiting. Causes of brain cancer Some factors that can increase your risk of brain cancer include: some brain and spinal cord tumours are more common in people with certain inherited or genetic conditions people exposed to very high doses of radiation to the head. Diagnosis for brain cancer If a brain tumour is suspected, the doctor may check how different parts of the brain are functioning by checking your reflexes, muscle strength, ability to feel pin-pricks and to distinguish between hot and cold. An opthalmoscope is used to view the optic nerve, which may bulge if the pressure in the skull is raised, for example by a tumour. Brain tumour diagnosis is usually by MRI and CT scans. Other tests that are sometimes used are: magnetic resonance spectroscopy PET scan single photon emission CT scan lumbar puncture (also known as spinal tap). Treatment for brain cancer Staging Based on the results of MRI, CT scans and other tests, your doctor will tell you the stage of the cancer. Staging describes the size of the cancer and if and how far it has spread beyond the brain. Brain tumours are usually graded on a scale of I to IV, based on how quickly they are growing and their ability to invade nearby tissue: grades I and II are the slowest growing and are called low-grade tumours; grade IV is the fastest growing. Types of treatment Brain tumours may be treated with surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or steroid therapy, or a combination of these treatments. Some tumours can be removed completely by surgery (craniotomy). Post-operative radiotherapy improves local control and survival. For glioblastomas, temozolomide may be added during or after radiotherapy to further improve outcomes. If a tumour cannot be removed, the aim of treatment is to slow growth and relieve symptoms by shrinking the tumour and any swelling around it. Treatment options include radiotherapy with or without temozolomide. Treatment team Your treatment may consist of a number of health professionals depending on the type of treatment you have. These may include: GP neurologist – diagnosis and treats diseases of the brain and nervous system neurosurgeon – uses surgery to treat brain diseases and injuries cancer nurses medical oncologist – diagnoses and treats cancer using chemotherapy radiation oncologist – diagnoses and treats cancer with radiotherapy other health professionals such as dietician, social worker, speech and occupational therapists. Palliative care In some cases of brain cancer, your medical team may talk to you about palliative care. Palliative care aims to improve your quality of life by alleviating symptoms of cancer. As well as slowing the spread of brain cancer, palliative treatment can relieve pain and help manage other symptoms. Treatment may include radiotherapy, chemotherapy or other drug therapies. Screening for brain cancer There is currently no screening for brain cancer available in Australia. Prognosis for brain cancer Prognosis means the expected outcome of a disease. An individual’s prognosis depends on the type and stage of cancer, as well as their age and general health at the time of diagnosis. For benign tumours that can be completely removed, cure is likely. For malignant tumours, outcomes depend on how slowly or quickly the tumour develops and response to treatment. Preventing brain cancer There are no proven measures to prevent brain cancer.