A brain tumor may sound like a scary, even devastating possibility. Basically a growth of abnormal cells in your brain, a brain tumor can be benign – that is, without cancer cells or malignant – with cancer cells. Understanding brain tumor symptoms early can mean a better shot at a positive outcome.
Since different parts of the brain control different body parts and their functions, the symptoms of brain tumor also differ widely depending on the location. Common brain tumor symptoms are:
Seizures: Mostly Partial
Believe it or not, seizures are the commonest symptom of brain tumor, with about 60% patients experiencing them. They occur mostly when the tumors are located in the central part of the brain and have a slow growth rate and many lesions.
It’s difficult to differentiate between a tumor-related headache and a normal one you might get because of sinus, flu, or migraine.
- The pain may be throbbing and resemble a migraine or may even be like a tension headache.
- It was believed that a tumor headache is worst in the morning and gets better within a few hours, but this may not always be the case.
- The pain also shoots up when you do something that increases the pressure in your head, say coughing, sneezing, or bending.
- Over-the-counter medicines, rest, or sleep do not help.
- It might also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
Persistent vomiting or nausea, without any apparent reason, especially in the morning or when you change your position, can be a sign of a brain tumor. Vomiting is often a result of raised pressure inside the skull, which is why movement triggers it.
Vision Problems: Loss Of Vision Or Double Vision
- Blurred sight, vision loss that comes and goes, or seeing floating shapes like small dots or thin strands in front of your eyes can all indicate a tumor.
- A tumor in the occipital lobe may mean loss of vision in one eye or sometimes both eyes.
- A tumor in the brain stem may cause double vision.
Personality Change: Depression Or Aggression
You may even turn aggressive, though you may have had no history of aggressive behavior. You may also behave in culturally or socially inappropriate ways. This is because the frontal lobe is responsible for your personality traits. If a tumor affects the quality of the nerve signals in this area of the brain, you would lose control over your emotions and impulses and not be able to adjust your behavior in accordance with your environment.
Speech And Hearing: Difficulty Speaking
A sudden loss of communication skills can indicate a brain tumor. You may slur, stutter, speak haltingly, grope for appropriate words, muddle words, forget names of common objects, and be unable to string a meaningful sentence together. You may be able to write but not read out what you’ve written. These symptoms can also indicate a stroke or a migraine attack. All three are serious medical conditions and need attention.
A brain tumor, especially in the frontal and the temporal lobes, may affect your memory of objects, people, places, or events in your life. The inability to recall any such information that you knew before you had the brain tumor is known as retrograde amnesia.
You might also not be able to remember anything that happened since the brain tumor developed. This inability to process new information is known as anterograde amnesia. Sadly, memory loss may be an effect of the treatment as well.
You may experience extreme weariness of the body. It could be because of the seizures, headache, or nausea or because your body is using up most of its energy in fighting the tumor. Also, as the tumor makes simple everyday tasks a challenge, the extra amount of concentration and effort you need to put in everything may tire you out.
Clumsiness: Loss Of Balance And Coordination
If your clumsiness can be attributed to numbness or weakness in one side of your body, it might be caused by a tumor in the parietal lobe. As the brain stem and the frontal lobe control muscular movements related to swallowing and speaking, respectively, patients also have trouble with these activities if they get tumors in these areas.