‘Headache in morning hours, weakness in limbs, vertigo are warning signs’ | Chandigarh News

The International Association of Cancer Registries (IACR) has stated that around 28,000 people are diagnosed with brain tumour in India every year, and over 24,000 patients die annually due to the disease. The report further stated that the incidence of brain tumours in India is about 5-10 per 100,000 of the population.

Dr (Lt Col) Harmandeep Singh Brar, Consultant, Neuro Surgery, Fortis Hospital Mohali, says that brain tumour is an abnormal growth of cells in the brain or its covering (meninges). “It can be malignant (cancerous) or benign. Only about one-third (27.9%) of the brain tumours are malignant.

Common risk factors

Genetic or hereditary: About 5-10 per cent of the patients have a positive family history of brain tumours.

Environmental factors: Exposure to high dose radiation increases the risk of brain cancer.

Age: Brain tumour can develop at any age but it is more common in the fifth and sixth decade of life.

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Gender: Malignant (cancerous) tumours are more common in males and benign lesions frequently occur are in females.

Signs & symptoms

The warning signs of brain tumour depend on the size, location and its type, says Brar, adding, “the most common symptoms are headaches, which is severe during the early morning hours, and is associated with vomiting”. “One may also experience seizures or fits, weakness or numbness in the arms or legs (paralysis), speech disturbances, vision problems, hearing problems or tinnitus, difficulty in swallowing, and imbalance while walking or experiencing vertigo.”

Treatment options

Brar says symptoms along with neurological and radiological examinations such as NCCT (computed tomography) of the head and a Contrast MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) of the brain could help detect the disease. The spectrum of treatment options includes surgery, biopsy, craniotomy for excision of the tumour and the most advanced neuronavigation-based surgery, which can precisely excise the tumour without damaging the normal brain tissue.


Adoption of a healthy lifestyle, a balanced diet, regular exercise, health check-ups and avoiding environmental hazards such as unnecessary radiation exposure can help in early detection and treatment, according to Brar.

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