New Delhi: Brain tumour cases are rising ‘steadily’ in India, and children account for 20 per cent of the increasing cases, say doctors here on the occasion of World Brain Tumour Day on Thursday.
World Brain Tumour Day is observed on June 8 every year to increase awareness and educate the public about brain tumours.
In 2020, brain tumour was ranked as the 10th most common kind of tumour among Indians. The International Association of Cancer Registries (IARC) reported that there are over 28,000 cases of brain tumours reported in India each year and more than 24,000 people reportedly die due to brain tumours annually.
“The occurrence of brain tumours in India is steadily rising. More and more cases of brain tumours are reported each year in our country among people of varied age groups. Every year 40,000 to 50,000 people are diagnosed with brain tumours, out of which 20 per cent are children,” Aditya Gupta, Director, Neurosurgery and Cyberknife Centre, Artemis Hospital, told IANS.
“India is witnessing an increasing trend of central nervous system tumours. The prevalence ranges from 5 to 10 per 1,00,000 population. Very few people know that out of these, only two per cent of tumours turn cancerous,” added Ravindra Srivastava, Director Neurosurgery, Primus Hospital.
The doctors said it’s critical to recognise the early warning signals since symptoms like unexplained nausea, persistent headaches, seizures, visual problems and cognitive changes shouldn’t be disregarded.
According to Shashi Shekhar Singh, Neurosurgery, Ujala Cygnus Group of Hospitals, the risk factors for brain tumours vary depending on the type of tumour.
“While the exact causes of brain tumours are often unknown, the factors associated with an increased risk of developing a brain tumour include age: in adults, gliomas are more common, while medulloblastomas are more prevalent in children; genetic conditions and family history; exposure to ionising radiation, such as radiation therapy for cancers or exposure to nuclear accidents; and gender: meningiomas are more common in females, while gliomas are slightly more common in males,” Singh told IANS.
Further, research is also ongoing to understand the possible role of certain environmental factors in the development of brain tumours.
Some studies have suggested potential associations between exposure to certain chemicals or electromagnetic fields and an increased risk of brain tumours. However, more research is needed to establish definitive links.
The health experts called for a healthy lifestyle that includes a balanced diet, frequent exercise and enough sleep to promote general brain health and reduce the risk of brain tumours.
Essential strategies in lowering the risk also include keeping the brain safe from damage and injury and avoiding exposure to toxic substances.
However, “it’s important to note that the majority of brain tumours occur in individuals without any identifiable risk factors. Most cases are sporadic, meaning they occur by chance without a known cause,” Singh said.
“If you have concerns about your risk of developing a brain tumour, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional who can assess your individual situation and provide appropriate guidance,” he added.