A tumor is an abnormal growth of tissues in the body because of a malfunction in the cells that grow and divide more than they are supposed to. Tumors also occur in brains or can spread to the brain from elsewhere. They are either benign, which is non-cancerous or malignant, which is cancerous.
The National Cancer Institute estimates that about 18,600 people have died from brain and nervous system cancers this year in the United States alone. The disease affects adults and the elderly, and also teenagers and children. On the occasion of World Brain Tumor Day, which seeks to raise awareness for the disease, we take a look at its history, purpose and significance.
The non-profit organisation, Deutsche Hirntumorhilfe e.V or German Brain Tumor Association, observed World Brain Tumor Day for the first time on June 8, 2000. They decided to announce this international, annual event as a tribute to every brain tumor patient across the world and their loved ones. The organisation based in Leipzig was found in 1998 with 800 and above current members across fourteen nations. Many scientists, health professionals and patient families support their efforts.
The goal of the German Brain Tumour Association is to find a cure for tumors of the brain. For this purpose, it supports scientific research, especially neuro-oncology studies. With the motto “knowledge creates future”, the association provides guidance and support to brain tumor patients and those that take care of them.
They disseminate the latest information in brain tumor diagnosis and treatment through their website, hirntumorhilfe.org and also publish a magazine. They also organise conferences and provide other services through telephone. The association also sees to promote cooperation among those groups involved in brain tumor research and treatment.
Status in India
As per the National Health Portal (NHP), Government of India, brain tumor cases are rising in India. Among children, it is more common in girls. The NHP also mentions most patients die within 9-12 months after diagnosis and only a mere 3 per cent survive beyond three years. A National Cancer Control Programme has been initiated by the Government of India with the aim to prevent the disease, screen and detect it early and provide treatment.