Not all tumours are cancerous: Doctors debunk myths

Debunking myths, such as the misconception that mobile phones cause brain tumours, is crucial.
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only.(Express Illustration)

BENGALURU : On World Tumour Day (June 8), health experts debunked common myths surrounding tumours, emphasising the importance of understanding the differences between tumour and cancer. From misconceptions about mobile phone usage causing brain tumours to concerns over artificial sweeteners, experts clarified that not all tumours are cancerous and each type presents unique signs and symptoms.

Dr Aniruddha Tekkatte Jagannatha, Consultant (Neurosurgery) at Aster RV Hospital explained that there are numerous misconceptions surrounding brain tumours. For instance, headaches are not always indicative of brain tumour. More commonly, migraines, tension headaches, and vascular headaches cause such symptoms. Recurring headaches, particularly accompanied by vision problems, nausea, or vomiting, should prompt evaluation to rule out a brain tumour, he said.

“Brain tumours can not only originate within the brain itself but also from tumours that spread to the brain from other parts of the body, known as metastatic brain tumour. In such cases, the symptoms vary significantly depending on the tumour’s location, growth rate and the affected area,” Dr Jagannatha elaborated.

Dr Naveen MA, HoD and Senior Consultant (Neuro and Spine Surgeon) at Gleneagles BGS Hospital emphasised that contrary to widespread belief, not all brain tumours are inherently dangerous, and only about one-third of these tumours are malignant (can also spread to other parts of your body).

Debunking myths, such as the misconception that mobile phones cause brain tumours, is crucial. Instead, focusing on current trends in brain tumour treatment, including personalised medicine, immunotherapy, minimally invasive surgery, advanced imaging, targeted drug delivery, and the integration of AI and machine learning, offers hope for better outcomes and improved quality of life for patients facing this challenging diagnosis, Dr Naveen said.

Dr Sachin GR, Senior Consultant (Neurosurgery) at Apollo Hospital explained that symptoms and consequences depend on the tumour’s location in the brain and the functions it affects. For example, tumours can cause weakness on one side of the body, speech disturbances and seizures, depending on the location.

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