Kolkata: The incidence of brain tumours in India is rising. Different kinds of tumors manifest at different age groups. While most cases have unknown causes, some are linked to genetic diseases such as Neurofibromatosis & exposure to ionising radiation. A new emerging threat is the exposure to radiofrequency waves from mobile phones. While smart phones are everyone’s best friend, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has observed that radiofrequency electromagnetic fields, linked to mobile phones, may be possibly carcinogenic and the risk is increased with increasing use.
Dr. Jyotirup Goswami, Consultant, Radiation Oncology, Narayana Superspeciality Hospital, Howrah said, “Worldwide, 1% of approximately 3 lakhs cancer cases annually are found to be brain tumours, but Indian data suggests that as much as 10% of new cases could be brain tumors.
Sadly, as per Globocan2018 report, issued by the International Association of Cancer Registries (IARC) associated with the WHO, 28, 142 new brain tumour cases annually are reported in India, while there are as many as 24 003 deaths. And according to a report done by Government hospital in West Bengal 13.6% cancer cases registered is brain tumour. ,” he also added.
A recent study in Eastern India was done by Clinical cancer investigation journal by involving 130 cases with brain tumour found male preponderance. The cases were distributed in a wide age range from 4 years to 78 years with the mean age of 42.38 years. Most common tumor type in this study was neuroepithelial tumor (70%). Among the neuroepithelial tumors, most frequent subtype was astrocytic tumor (41%). The second most frequent brain tumor was meningioma (20 cases, 15.3%). The research found higher incidence of oligodendroglial tumor (8.46%) and medulloblastoma (7.69%) in this series. The result shows males are more predispose to brain tumors in comparison to females in eastern India. Awareness & early detection of brain tumours can play a crucial role in controlling them & saving lives through early treatment.
With proper precaution and prevention, we still can control brain tumour rate by reducing exposure to radio frequency energy, by using mobile phones for shorter conversations& keeping them away from our body parts unless actually using them.
While symptoms of brain tumours are not always specific, but persistent/recurrent symptoms like unexplained headaches, difficulty in speech/ vision/ hearing, unexplained nausea-vomiting, gait problems , changes in mood or ability to concentrate, memory loss, numbness or tingling in the legs/ arms or seizures are all causes for concern. Consult a neurologist immediately in such cases; if necessary, you will then be asked to get brain imaging done (CT scan/ MRI) & neurosurgical consultation. For diagnosed brain tumors, following surgery, radiotherapy & chemotherapy may also be required.