World Brain Tumor Day is observed every year on June 8 all around the world to raise awareness about brain tumors, advancement in their treatment and to eliminate the stigma and fear associated with the disease. Brain tumors are complex and often a misunderstood medical condition that can evoke fear and uncertainty. Due to their intricate nature, brain tumors have become a subject surrounded by myths and misconceptions. These myths about brain tumors can spread false information, leading to confusion among families. Hence, it is crucial to separate fact from fiction when discussing brain tumors.
On World Brain Tumor Day, Health Shots got in touch with Dr Amit Haldar, Director of Neurology, Fortis Hospital Anandapur, Kolkata, to understand what you should not believe when it comes to brain tumors.
Myths about brain tumors
Here are 7 common myths and facts about brain tumors that you should know:
Myth 1: Brain Tumor only affects elders
Fact: Brain tumor is a disease that can occur in both children and adult people. Approximately 3.9 per cent of all brain tumor cases diagnosed occur in children ages 0-14 years. It is important for people of all age groups to understand the signs and symptoms of the brain tumor and to emphasize the treatment at the earliest.
Myth 2: Mobile phones increase the chance of brain tumor
Fact: There is no proper scientific evidence that can prove the use of mobile phones increases the risk of brain tumors. However, long exposure to radiation can have an overall negative impact on health. So, it is always a good idea to use caution and follow recommended safety guidelines for cell phone usage.
Also read: Is headache the first sign of brain tumour?
Myth 3: Every brain tumor patient has similar symptoms
Fact: There is a common belief that all brain tumor patients have similar signs and symptoms. But that is not true. The symptoms vary from person to person, depending on the size, site, and grade of the tumor. However, some of the common symptoms include headache, nausea, fatigue, etc.
Myth 4: Brain tumor is genetic
Fact: There is no proper evidence to suggest that brain tumors run in the family. Instead, environmental or lifestyle factors are the main causes of brain tumor. But it has been found that it may increase the risk of developing the disease. Brain MRI, biopsy, and some other specialized tests are recommended for people with a family history of brain tumors to detect the risk of developing the condition.
Myth 5: Brain tumors are always cancerous
Fact: Most people believe that all brain tumors are cancerous. That is not true. There are both cancerous and non-cancerous brain tumors. Additionally, only one-third of brain tumors are cancerous. If diagnosed on time, brain tumors can be treated with proper treatment. Although non-cancerous brain tumors are often less aggressive and have a lesser risk of spreading to other parts of the body, they can nevertheless cause symptoms and require medical attention.
Myth 6: Brain tumors are always fatal
Fact: Brain tumors can be serious, but not all of them are fatal. The prognosis depends on various factors such as tumor type, location, size, and the individual’s overall health. Some brain tumors are slow-growing and can be successfully treated or managed, leading to long-term survival.
Also read: World Brain Tumour Day: Can you survive a brain tumour?
Myth 7: Brain tumors are contagious
Fact: Brain tumors are not contagious. They cannot be spread from person to person through any form of contact or exposure.
It is important to note that brain tumors are a complex medical condition, and individual cases can vary significantly. If you suspect a brain tumor or have any concerns, it is crucial to consult a qualified healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.