Signs and Symptoms of Brain Tumors
Brain Tumor can either be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous) based on the location, spread, and the multiplication rate of the cells. The tumor in the brain may often go unnoticed (without showing active symptoms) in many cases. However, most patients experience symptoms or signs that on diagnosis may reveal a possible brain tumor condition.
Symptoms can either be general or specific.
In case of general symptoms, the tumor’s growing size or spread often causes a pressure condition in the brain or spinal cord which reflects in the form of general symptoms.
On the other hand, a specifics symptom is experienced when a specific part of the brain gets deeply affected by the tumor, which causes repeated symptoms in the specific area. Both symptom types have to be diagnosed clinically to determine whether an active or passive brain tumor is present or not.
General Symptoms of Brain Tumors
This is one of the most common types of brain tumor symptom with almost 50% of patients experiencing changing headache patterns in the initial stages. This is primarily caused when the growing tumor puts pressure on the sensitive nerves and blood vessels in the brain. Patients often experience a change in their headache pattern in such cases, for instance,
- The headache can be more intense in the morning when you wake up
- The headache can be persistent with changing intensity throughout the day
- The headache may worsen if you exercise, change position, or cough
- Often symptoms like vomiting due to unbearable headache can occur
- The headache refuses to go away even after trying OTC medicines
However, not all headaches are a sign of a brain tumor. Sometimes, it can be due to an unhealthy lifestyle, late nights, and stress. If the headache refuses to go away, please visit a general doctor.
Brain tumors may cause unexpected mood swings and change in personality due to disrupted brain function. The most common personality changes will be in the form of
- Persistent irritation, even over small trivial matters
- Bipolar mood changes, for instance, you can be happy one minute and sinking in sadness the very next minute without any particular cause
- Lethargic attitude, procrastination, and reluctance to complete everyday tasks
- Change in attitude over something you used to love doing once, for instance, you may start hating your hobby.
- Frequent confusion over small matters
Personality changes are commonly observed if the tumor is present in one of the following locations in the brain:
- The Frontal Lobe
- The Temporal Lobe
- Part of Cerebrum
Electrical impulses running through our nerves are primarily responsible for transmitting signals to and from the brain. Tumor in the brain pushes the nerves and the blood vessels to make space for itself which causes the disturbance in the electrical impulses leading to the medical condition we know as seizure.
This is yet another common brain tumor symptom with 50% of patients experiencing seizures as a result of a growing tumor. A tumor is also one of the early symptoms of brain tumor.
The frontal lobe is usually responsible for reasoning or decision-making. A tumor in the frontal or parietal lobe may cause the following symptoms
- You may get easily confused. It starts with smaller things like directions and increases to names and people overtime
- You may experience difficulty in concentrating
- Your ability to multi-task or perform tasks quickly may get hampered
- You may experience acute forgetfulness. Short-term memory loss is also a possibility.
Mood disorders are slightly different than mood swings. In mood swings, you may experience a rapid change in mood, but in a mood disorder, the feelings are long-term and progressive in nature which often leads to self-destruction. Depression, anxiety can be a few mood disorders you experience. Usual mood disorders can be in the form of –
- Social anxiety
- Loss of interest in things you used to like
- Feeling of self-worthlessness
Apart from these, other general symptoms may also include- a feeling of weakness, fatigue, nausea.
Specific Symptoms of Brain Tumor
Loss of Vision
Loss of vision due to tumor in the pituitary gland or temporal lobe
Change in Speech, Reading and Writing
Changes in speech, reading and writing abilities due to tumor in the cerebrum, cerebellum, temporal or parietal gland.
Trouble looking upwards
Inability to look upwards because of pineal gland tumor
Loss of Balance
Loss of balance due to cerebellum tumor
Lactation Problem in Women
Lactation problem in women due to pituitary gland tumor
Facial numbness, or feeling or partial face paralysis, difficulty in chewing or swallowing due to tumor in the brain stem
If you’ve been experiencing any of these following symptoms for a long period of time without any progress or recovery in the condition, we suggest going to a neurologist for an in-depth analysis and performing some prescribed clinical tests to determine the underlying cause of the condition. In most cases, brain tumor is treatable if diagnosed and treated at the right time.