The Cause And Effect Of Brain Tumour Biology Essay


This project is conducted to show that brain tumour patient can and do return to work after treatment. Brain tumour is defined as abnormal growth of cells within the brain or the central spinal canal. This study focuses entirely on how brain tumour formed and the treatment the workers undergo. After studying the cause and effect of brain tumour, this study relates the relevance of worker returning to their workforce and the challenges and consideration. It is clear that workers have the right to return to their workforce after operation. The findings may be useful for HRD trainers and executive in handling workers with brain tumour history especially in making reasonable accommodations that will allow the workers to perform their job.


According to Rasmussen (1995), headache is a symptom of a range of neurobiological disorders, including some of the most common and ubiquitous. The study by Lines et al. (1989) states that adults aged 20-50 years are the most likely sufferers but children and adolescents are affected too. Almost everyone suffers from headache occasionally and usually they are not dangerous. Headache ranges from a state of having flu, cold or hangover to very severe conditions such as brain tumour, stroke, brain haemorrhage and others.

Headaches are classified into primary headaches and secondary headaches. Primary headache are common headache that affects everyone, usually caused by stress, hectic work life, sleeping disorders, and others. Migraine, tension headache and cluster headache are among the most common primary headache. These types of headache are not harmless and they usually lasted from a few minutes to hours or maybe days.

Secondary headache, on the other hand, is also caused by common type of headache but with serious underlying causes which contributes to the pain ranging from brain tumour, brain haemorrhage, brain clot, and others. Draper (2012) suggests that:

When a patient has a new headache, or a new headache type, and at the same time develops a brain tumour, it would be reasonable to conclude that the headache occurred secondary to the tumour. Such a patient would be diagnosed as having a secondary headache (headache attributable to intracranial neoplasm) even if the headache presented phenomenological like a particular primary headache (for example, migraine, headache or cluster headache). Thus, a new headache occurring with another disorder recognised to be capable of causing it is always diagnosed as secondary. However, this straightforward scenario does not always apply and it has been necessary to give further definition and clarification to match more complicated clinical scenarios.

The goal of the study is to recognize the symptom, cause and effect of brain tumour. Next is to describe the various treatments for brain tumour patient. Lastly, to provide insights on how should the HRD trainers, managers or executives react when brain tumour patients return to the work force. The main focus is that brain tumour patients can return to work after treatment and what are they challenges that they need to consider.

Generally brain tumours represent a unique challenge in that they affect the organ that is the essence of the "self". Learning about medical care, the treatment for the workers must undergo, studying the cause and effect of brain tumour, actually can help the workers to take the active part in making choices about their care and consideration. Many people normally with brain tumours can and do return to work, either at their former or a new, more suitable workplace and that is why studying and doing research about workers with brain tumour is crucial as that will help them to get their normal life in workplace without any discrimination from the company include their own manager.

The challenges, socializing aspects, and financial incentives of a job can help them move ahead on the road to recovery. Surprisingly, several of them even better served performed by focusing their energies on the recovery process. With the help of their medical team, employer and loved ones, they can develop strategies that will help them succeed in meeting the demands at work. The ability of a brain tumour patient to return to work after diagnosis and treatment may be different. Several patients are able to go back as soon, with little or no loss in performance. On the contrary, there are other workers whose cannot work at all, or can only handle a limited amount of their former responsibilities.

Unfortunately, not at all firms management and managers or employers took the workers with brain tumour seriously as they knew their just can fired up and terminated the employees immediately without consideration even though they have their right to return to workplace after the treatment. The workforce includes many individuals with psychiatric disabilities who face employment discrimination because their disabilities are stigmatized or misunderstood. Despite in the midst of employers’ best intentions, abuses and discrimination may happened.


Literature Review


Research conducted by Ries et al. shown that males have a 0.66% lifetime risk of being diagnosed with a primary malignant brain tumour and a 0.50% chance of dying from a brain tumour while females have a 0.54% lifetime risk of being diagnosed with a primary malignant brain tumour and a 0.41% chance of dying from a brain tumour. This shows that male have higher risk of having brain tumour and higher chance of dying. There are high possibilities that among them are workers. Workers after diagnosed with brain tumour are usually discriminated by their employer. This is because they misunderstood the abilities of workers to perform job even after treatment is done. The federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prevents job discrimination for individuals with a qualifying disability. They state may also have laws against job discrimination. If they can perform the essential duties of a job the employer cannot discriminate against them in hiring. Besides that, the employer must make reasonable accommodations that will allow them to perform the job, unless doing so would cause an undue hardship on the employer.

Therefore, in order to prepare themselves and the workers upon returning to work, employer must expand their knowledge about brain tumour, maybe not in detail but generally. This would help them to prepare accommodations needed for the workers and also to provide training as well as compensation and benefits to the workers.

What is brain tumour?

According to American Brain Tumor Association, brain tumours are the second leading cause in children under age 20, second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males ages 20-39 and fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in females ages 20-39. defines brain tumour as a group of abnormal cells that grows in or around the brain. Normal cells die when they grow old or damaged and new cells replace them. However, this process can possibly go wrong when new cells form even though they are not needed and old or damaged cells do not die when they should do so. These extra cells forms a mass of tissue called growth or tumour.C:\Users\User\Desktop\images.jpg

What are the symptoms of brain tumour?

If a tumour grows in the brain it will often cause an increase in pressure within the skull, which then cause symptoms to develop. An escalation of pressure in the skull is called raised intracranial pressure (ICP).

One of the most important symptoms and a common one is headache. Not all kind of headaches but some of them are particularly bothersome. For example, a steady headache that someone feels worse in the morning then the afternoon, a persistent headache that comes with nausea or vomiting, or a headache with double vision, may suggest the particular person of having a brain tumour. More than that, feeling sick or nausea and vomiting are one of the most important symptoms too. If the upraised pressure makes someone sick, it may be worse in the morning than during the day. It may also get worse if one suddenly change position.

Other possible symptoms of a brain tumour include loss of movement or consciousness at the arm or leg, feeling of unsteadiness especially if it is associated with headache, hearing loss with or without dizziness, loss of vision in one or both eyes especially if vision loss is more peripheral, double vision when it is associated with headache, and last but not least, speech difficulty of gradual onset.

Moreover, there are also symptoms that are related to the tumour’s position because each area of the brain controls different functions. Having tumour in a particular part of the brain may prevent that area from working normally. Firstly, if a person has a tumour at the frontal lobe part, it will change one’s personality and intellect, uncoordinated walking or weakness of one side of the body, loss of smell and difficulties in speech. Whereas if the tumour is at parietal lobe, one will have difficulty speaking or understanding words, problem with writing, reading and simple calculations, and same as frontal lobe, one will have experience difficulty in coordinating certain movements. If the tumour happens to be at temporal lobe, one will experience a feeling of fear or intense familiarity, strange smells or blackouts and having memory problems. Plus, if the tumour occurs at occipital lobe, one will experience loss vision to one eye. While if it happens at cerebellum, one will have lack of coordination, slurred speech or dysarthia, unsteadiness, flickering involuntary movement of the eyes and neck stiffness. Finally, when a tumour occurs to be happen at brain stem, one will experience unsteadiness and an uncoordinated walk, facial weakness which having one-sided smile or drooping eyelid, double vision and difficulty in speaking and swallowing.

What are the causes of brain tumour?

Other than acquaintance to vinyl chloride or ionizing radiation, there are no known environmental factors that are associated with brain tumours. Mutations and deletions of self-styled tumour suppressor genes are thought to be the cause of some forms of brain tumours. People with various genetic diseases, such as Von Hippel-Lindau syndrome, multiple endocrine neoplasia and neurofibromatosis type 2 are at high risk of developing brain tumours usually.

What are the treatments for brain tumour?

Treatment for brain tumours depends entirely on number of factors such as type, location at the brain, size of the tumour as well as the patient’s age and general health. Until now, brain tumours are treated with surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Depending on patient needs, several methods may be used for a better result.

RadiosurgeryFirst treatment that is surgery is one of the common treatments nowadays for brain tumours. The operation is called craniotomy where a neurosurgeon makes an opening in the skull. It is impossible to remove the entire tumour without damaging vital brain tissues but if it is not, the doctor may remove as much as possible. Another way is doing partial removal as it helps to relieve symptoms by reducing pressure on the brain and reduces amount of tumour to be treated after that by radiation therapy or chemotherapy. For cases like tumours that cannot be removed, doctors may only do a biopsy. This is where a small piece of tumour is removed so that a pathologist can examine it. A biopsy can also be done with a needle. Doctors will use a special head frame and CT scans or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) to pinpoint the location of the tumour. The surgeon will makes a small hole in the skull and then guides a needle to the tumour. This is a technique called stereotaxic under biopsy.C:\Users\User\Desktop\images (3).jpg

Second treatment to cure brain tumours are radiation therapy. Radiation therapy or radiotherapy is the use of high-powered rays to damage cancer cells and stop them from growing. This therapy is often used to destroy tumour tissue that during surgery is possible to be removed. Radiotherapy may be given in two days. Treatment under radiotherapy also depends on the type and size of the tumour and as well as the age. Radiation also can come from radioactive material placed directly in the tumour or called implant radiation therapy. Depends on the material used, the implant may be situated at the left part of the brain. Implants lose a little radioactive each day. Stereotactic radiosurgery or The Gamma Knife is additional way to treat brain tumours. This is a radiation technique that delivers a single, finely focused, high dose of radiation accurately to its target. High-energy rays will be aimed at the tumour from many angles. In this way, a high dose of radiation reaches the tumour without damaging other brain tissue.C:\Users\User\Desktop\images (4).jpg

Last but not least is the chemotherapy. This therapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. The doctor may use just one drug or a combination, usually giving the drugs orally or by injection into the blood vessel. This kind of therapy is usually given in cycles. Advances in chemotherapy include direct placement into the tumour cavity using a new technique called convection enhanced delivery. C:\Users\User\Desktop\Chemotherapy-for-Brain-Cancer.jpg

Before a patient begins any treatment, the patient must ask the doctor these questions for vigilant steps in the future. The following are the example of questions the patient may ask;

What type of brain tumour do I have?

Is it benign or malignant?

What is the grade of the tumour?

What are my treatment choices? Which do you recommend for me? Why?

What are the expected benefits of each kind of treatment?

What can I do to prepare for treatment?

Will I need to stay in the hospital? If so, for how long?

What are the risks and possible side effects of each treatment? How can side effects be managed?

What is the treatment likely to cost? Will my insurance cover it?

How will treatment affect my normal activities? What is the chance that I will have to learn how to walk, speak, read, or write after treatment?

Would a research study (clinical trial) be appropriate for me?

Can you recommend other doctors who could give me a second opinion about my treatment options? How often should I have check-up?

But, what about second chance? Patient diagnosed with a brain tumour often wants to get a second opinion. This means asking another physician to review the patient’s case. A second opinion can confirm an initial diagnosis and/or can be used to compare suggested courses of treatment.

What should the employer/ HRD trainers or executive or managers do?

American Brain Tumor Association. (2012). Brain Tumor Facts. Retrieved April 12, 2013 from

Department of Justice. (2009) Americans with disabilities act of 1990. Retrieved on April 12, 2013 from

Draper, R. (2012). Secondary Headache. Retrieved April 11, 2013 from

Linet, M.S., Stewart, W.F., Celentano, D.D., Ziegler, D. and Sprecher, M. (1989). An epidemiologic study of headache among adolescents and young adults. Journal of American Medical Association, 261: 2211-2216. doi:10.1001/jama.1989.03420150061038. (2012). Brain Tumor Treatment. Retrieved April 12, 2013 from

Rasmussen, B. (1995), Epidemiology of headache. Cephalalgia, 15, 44–67. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-2982.1995.1501045.x

Ries, L.A.G., Eisner, M.P., Kosary, C.L., Hankey, B.F., Miller, B.A., Clegg, L., Edwards, B.K. (eds). SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1973-1999, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD, 2002.