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Health Insurance for Brain Tumour: What You Should Know on Symptoms & Diagnosis of Brain Tumour

Health Insurance Plan for Brain Tumour- What you Should Know on Symptoms and Diagnosis of Brain Tumour here on this article. Visit Kotak Life to know more on health insurance plans

  • 3,165 Views | Updated on: Mar 13, 2024

Your brain is the most complex and also the most important part of your body. This three-pound organ governs your intelligence, senses, body movement, and overall behaviour. However, it is also a very fragile organ and is susceptible to multiple diseases and problems. One of the most critical issues that can impact your brain is a brain tumour.

The incidence of a brain tumour in India is steeply rising. Each year the country reports more and more cases of brain tumour across generations. In 2018, a brain tumour was ranked as the number ten among all health disorders affecting Indians. Further, the International Association of Cancer Registers (IARC) mentioned that India records nearly 28,000 cases of a brain tumour annually, and more than 24,000 people die each year due to brain tumour and related complications.

A brain tumour is a highly fatal disease. However, if it is diagnosed early and treated properly, the patient has more chances to survive and lead a healthy life. Hence, it is important to understand a brain tumour, its symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.

What is a brain tumour?

A brain tumour is an abnormal and uncontrolled mass or growth of cells in the brain. The space in the brain is limited. Hence, any extra growth in the brain causes pressure on the skull, which can cause life-threatening complications and also, completely damage the brain. However, not all brain tumours are cancerous. Some brain tumours are benign and non-cancerous, whereas other tumours are critically malignant and cancerous. The benign tumours do not spread to other parts of the body. The malignant tumours spread to other body parts and grow uncontrollably.

What are the different types of tumours?

Typically, there are two types of brain tumours:

  • Primary tumours: Primary tumours are ones that develop in the brain.
  • Metastatic tumours: These tumours originate in any other part of the body but eventually, spread to the brain. These tumours spread through the bloodstream. Most common types of cancers that spread to the brain include breast cancer, lung cancer, kidney cancer and skin cancer.

The brain tumour intensity depends on the kind of tumour, its exact location and its growth rate. Also, the treatment of brain tumour is dependent on these aspects.

What risk factors increase the chances of a brain tumour?’

The exact cause of brain tumours is not known. In general, tumours occur because of uncontrolled cellular multiplication primarily due to a mutation or change in DNA. However, several risk factors increase the chances of formation of a brain tumour in a person. These include:

  • Radiation: Extensive and prolonged exposure to radiation in the form of ionizing radiation therapy, X-Ray, CT scans, etc., can result in the formation of a tumour. Moreover, uncontrolled exposure to power lines, nuclear plants, mobile phones and cell phone towers, also increases the risk of brain tumour.
  • Obesity: People who are obese or overweight have a high risk of developing a brain tumour.
  • Family History: Even though rare, some specific brain tumours are genetically inherited. This is most common when a lot of people in the family have a brain tumour.
  • Cancer History: In some cases, people who suffer from cancer, such as leukaemia, in their life have a high risk of developing brain tumour as they age.
  • Age, Race and Ethnicity: People at an older age are at more risk of developing a brain tumour. Moreover, Caucasians are at a higher risk of a brain tumour as compared to Asians and Africans.
  • Contact with Chemicals: People engaged in occupations that involve a high exposure to harmful chemicals are at a higher risk of developing a brain tumour. Some of these harmful chemicals include tobacco smoke, diesel exhaust, cadmium compounds, nickel, etc.

What are the symptoms of a brain tumour?

The symptoms of brain tumour vary from person-to-person. They typically depend on the type, size, location and intensity of the tumour mass. Besides, the brain tumour symptoms are difficult to diagnose as they appear similar to signs of some other health conditions.

Some of the common symptoms of a brain tumour include:

  • Headaches those become more frequent and severe
  • Feeling intense pressure in the head
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Vision problems
  • Double vision

Some other symptoms depending on the location of the brain tumour include:

  • Problem with balancing
  • Weakness or sensation in arm or leg
  • Weakness or drooping on one side of the face
  • Changes in behaviour or personality
  • Hearing issues
  • Memory problems
  • Trouble in walking
  • Slurred speech
  • A fuller spot is known as fontanel on the skull
  • Seizures
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Swallowing trouble
  • Loss of appetite
  • Confusion
  • Irritability

Apart from these symptoms, a man suffering from brain tumour can experience symptoms, like breast tissue development, excessive body hair, etc. On the other hand, women are likely to experience nipple discharge, excessive body hair growth and lack of menstruation.

How is a brain tumour diagnosed?

As per the symptoms, if the doctor feels the patient has chances of a brain tumour, he/she may conduct a few diagnostic procedures to confirm the analysis. Some of the most common diagnostic methods used to detect brain tumour include:

  • Neurological examination: The doctor will assess the patient’s hearing, body balance, vision, coordination, reflex action, and the overall strength. If there is any issue found in these spheres, there are chances a person is suffering from a brain tumour.
  • Imaging tests: The doctor will conduct advanced imaging tests like an MRI, CT scan, PET scan, etc., to diagnose the tumour, identify its type, intensity, existing location, etc.
  • Biopsy: In this test, the medical professional collects a small piece of the detected tumour mass to understand if the tumour is benign or malignant. The method of biopsy is minimally invasive.
  • Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF): CSF is a colourless fluid found in the spinal cord and the brain. The doctors take a small portion of this liquid to detect brain tumours.
  • X-Ray: In some cases, a brain tumour can cause a fracture in the skull, owing to the increased pressure and limited space availability. With the help of an X-Ray, the doctor can identify if the tumour has caused a skull fracture. Besides, an X-Ray can also help detect any calcium deposits that are commonly present in brain tumours.
  • Angiography: In this diagnostic test, the doctor inserts a special-coloured dye in the patient’s bloodstream, which then travels to the brain via the blood. This special-coloured liquid enables the medical professional to see the inside of the body and check the supply to the blood tumour. This procedure is more helpful during the removal of the brain tumour.

Once the diagnosis is complete, the doctor suggests an appropriate method of treatment depending on the size, location, type, growth rate, etc. of the tumour mass. The course of treatment is also decided in accordance with the age and medical health of the patient.

How is a brain tumour treated?

The treatment for a brain tumour varies by the type of tumour, location, size and aggressiveness, as well as the general health and age of the patient. Some of the treatment options include:

  • Surgery to remove all or most of the tumour. Surgery relieves the symptoms and any intracranial pressure created by the mass.
  • Radiation to shrink and eventually kill the cancer cells.
  • Proton beam therapy that delivers a high dosage of radiation to targeted brain tumour areas.
  • Radiosurgery involves using multiple beams to destroy tumour cells.
  • Chemotherapy to eliminate rapidly growing tumour cells.
  • Targeted drug therapy to treat specific tumour abnormalities.

How can you fight brain tumour?

Since the exact cause of brain tumour is not defined, the best method to fight is to take proactive health measures and prepare yourself to fight. In this regard, it is advisable to invest in a sound health insurance plan. Health insurance will provide the required financial support to get the right treatment. Moreover, it can enable early diagnosis of brain tumour, supporting you to take proactive measures to prevent the tumour from spreading.

Trust Kotak Health Shield to be your protective gear.

Kotak Health Shield is a fixed benefit health insurance plan covering early and major stage conditions related to Brain (Neuro), Cancer, Cardiac and Liver.

The plan offers a lump-sum upon diagnosis of any minor or major neuro condition such as Brain Tumour, Brain Surgery, Coma, Permanent Paralysis, Multiple Sclerosis, Stroke, Head Trauma, etc. The plan covers:

  • Second medical opinion
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Medical monitoring
  • Medical repatriation
  • Compassionate visit

You can also opt for a Personal Accident Cover against Accidental Disability and Death. You can extend your Kotak Health Shield plan to your spouse. Further, you can enhance your coverage through:

  • Daily Hospitalisation Cash Benefit
  • Waiver of Premium on being diagnosed with Minor Conditions
  • Income Benefit on being diagnosed with Major Conditions

Trust Kotak Health Shield plan to be your reliable financial support if you are diagnosed with a brain tumour or any unfortunate critical illness. Be wise and make a smart investment to secure your future.

- A Consumer Education Initiative series by Kotak Life

Amit Raje
Written By :
Amit Raje

Amit Raje is an experienced marketer who has worked in various Fintechs and leading Financial companies in India. With focused experience in Digital, Amit has pioneered multiple digital commerce in India. Now, close to two decades later, he is the vice president and head of the D2C business department. He masters the skill of strategic management, also being certified in it from IIMA. He has challenged his challenges and contributed his efforts in this journey of digital transformation.

Amit Raje
Reviewed By :
Prasad Pimple

Prasad Pimple has a decade-long experience in the Life insurance sector and as EVP, Kotak Life heads Digital Business. He is responsible for developing user friendly product journeys, creating consumer awareness and helping consumers in identifying need for life insurance solutions. He has 20+ years of experience in creating and building business verticals across Insurance, Telecom and Banking sectors

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