Brain tumors comprise a heterogeneous category. The etiology of sporadic and familial tumors differs. Inherited neoplasms may be associated with an increased malignant tumor risk, and familial cancers show a high incidence of multiple tumors. The study of epidemiology and genetics of brain tumors is a major step towards the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these tumors.
Estimates of the US incidence of head neoplasms in the age group 5 years and older vary for different diagnostic groups (e.g., cancers of sinus, nasopharynx, and palate, meningioma and other benign central nongyroid central nervous system tumors, and other specific benign, cancerous, and noncancerous disorders of the temporal bone). Based on these estimates, a total mean annual incidence for all head neoplasms is 16.8 per 100,000 in males and 4.5 per 100,000 in females aged 5 years and older. The incidence of head neoplasms for tumors or conditions with more than 10,000 diagnoses in 2000-2004 was 34.
In a tertiary care environment, neoplasms from the head, face, and neck accounted for 41 percent of all head and neck tumors. There is no one single treatment strategy that can be considered the 'gold standard' for treatment of head and neck tumors. Most head and neck neoplasms were surgically resected with adjunctive chemotherapy or radiotherapy used to achieve a cure of the local tumor. Appropriate treatment planning with the aim of a maximum safety margin should be the aim while treatment and monitoring of head and neck oncology patients. There is a need for ongoing clinical trials specifically evaluating the safety of current treatments while in search of the best treatment for head and neck cancer.
The most common type of head neoplasm is metastatic. The symptoms vary but commonly include a loss of appetite, headaches, and visual or auditory changes. However, when a neoplasm is found in the head region, there is an increased risk of bleeding. The signs are associated with the location, size, and type of neoplasm.
Head neoplasms are tumours that form in the cranial bones and nervous system. They include: the brain (glioma, anaplastic astrocytoma), the face (glioblastoma, chorioglioma), the sinuses and the eyes (glomus jugulare), the skull base (ependymoma), the spine (malignant), and in the brainstem (medulloblastoma). They may be localised or disseminated. Treatment is similar to that of brain tumours and may involve surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. In the majority of cases the prognosis is poor, depending upon the precise site of origin.
In a recent study, findings shows the cure potential of some types of head and neck neoplasms. [Head and neck neoplasms are the most common tumors in patients with head and neck pathologies. There are many types of treatments available; the outcome is not always positive, so some conditions such as head and neck neoplasms need to be carefully examined before starting treatment.] More work needs to be done in testing this cure in patients with head and neck neoplasms, and in particular in those with high levels of consciousness.
Significant morbidity should not be considered only when malignancy develops. Neoplasms of the skull and scalp pose a substantial threat to vision and hearing impairment (neoplasms are cancers). Most head neoplasms are treatable, and can be effectively managed with surgery or radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. However, patients with advanced disease and/or those whose first treatments do not produce a response are unlikely to recover vision. Also, patients with brain metastases are not candidates for curative treatment.
Many head neoplasms are malignant and consequently spread rapidly, usually to a metastatic site distant from the original tumor. The speed of metastatic spread is correlated with location, size, and grade of neoplasm. Tumors originating close to the brain and those of high grade are associated with the rapid development and spread of metastases. This metastatic pattern is most evident following the aggressive resection of bulky, extracranial lesions with extensive vascular or lymphatic invasion or for metastases.
Many factors can influence the prognosis of head neoplasms, such as the type of cancer; and the age at diagnosis, if the patient has received any treatment and chemotherapy. When these factors are taken into consideration, the survival rate is not satisfactory.
The likelihood of developing tumours in a subpopulation is determined by various variables which are largely dependent upon its chronological age. An individual with a history of a head injury is approximately 50 times more likely to develop a tumour in that area over the course of a lifetime (8.7±1.4 versus 0.27±0.2 per 10,000 lifetime years in the head-injured group). The presence of a head injury, whether it is from a penetrating event or not, increases the chances of developing a neoplasm by 5.7- to 5.9-fold.
Currently, there is little evidence-based research concerning the effectiveness of treatment with the primary objectives of addressing symptoms to reduce the risk of adverse outcomes. In addition, the research that exists has failed to demonstrate improvement in relevant outcomes over treatment for symptomatic management.
Patients have a variety of needs to support their coping with cancer care that could be addressed with a variety of interventions including education, symptom management interventions, or a symptom coping intervention.