A neurosurgeon, Dr Edward Jolayemi, has said the cause of brain tumours is still largely unknown but chronic use of phones for 10 years may be linked to it. He said this during an event tagged, Together We Are Stronger, to educate the populace on brain tumours.
World brain tumour day was marked recently to raise awareness about brain tumours and dispel related misconceptions associated with it.
He said, though the cause is unknown, the risk factors include a family history of brain tumours, genetics, exposure to ionizing radiation, certain chemicals, and viruses.
“There have been studies to define the association of brain tumours with the use of cell phones, but no convincing data has emanated. However, there is the suggestion that chronic use of cell phones for at least 10 years may increase the risk. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends limiting cell phone use and promoting the use of hands-free headsets.
The graduate of the College of Medicine, University of Lagos, added: “Symptoms in persons with brain tumours include acute or persistent headache, often worse in the early hours of the morning and associated with vomiting. An adult having a first-time seizure has a likelihood of this being caused by the presence of a tumour or some other pathology in the brain.
“Other symptoms could include worsening eyesight, hearing loss, milky nipple discharge, personality changes, new-onset unsteadiness of gait, weakness or heaviness of a limb or body part, uncoordinated motor movements, and altered consciousness, and others.
“Diagnosing brain tumours begins with a clinical review by a neurosurgeon, neurologist or any experienced clinician. Investigations are done to look into the brain and sometimes to assess its function.”
He lamented “in some instances, especially in the Nigerian setting where late presentation to the hospital is common, complete brain tumour removal may not be feasible. In such scenarios, the surgeon may plan a subsequent surgery or offer other treatment modalities to address the residual tumour.
Calling for support for survivors, the Neurosurgeon with Evercare Hospital, Lekki, said: “Brain tumour survivors and individuals with brain tumours require our support. With appropriate treatment, they have the chance of leading normal lives like their counterparts without tumours. Let’s spread love and not stigmatization. Together, we are stronger.