Brain tumor symptoms

Brain tumor symptoms tend to vary from patient to patient. They also often mimic the symptoms of other diseases and medical conditions. Symptoms will depend on where in the brain the tumor is found and again on the patient. The most commonly reported symptom of a brain tumor is headaches. Headaches associated with brain tumors are typically worse in the morning and tend to gradually improve throughout the day. Coughing, exercise and other movement or activity may worsen the headaches and they normally do not respond to over the counter pain medication and other headache remedies.

Of course there are other causes of headaches as well as many other types. Those who experience frequent or recurring headaches should consult their doctor. It is often recommended that patients keep journals to note down when the headaches occur, their severity and any other symptoms that may accompany them. Any changes in vision, vomiting or nausea should be reported to your doctor when they accompany a headache.

Another symptom of a brain tumor is seizures. Nearly half of all people who are diagnosed with brain tumors have no idea of their condition until they develop seizures. These are very common with brain tumors and are caused by an interruption of the normal electricity flow in the brain. A disruption in this flow of electricity can cause loss of consciousness, convulsions and other sensations as well. Twitching in the arms or legs and problems with speech are also very common in patients who experience seizures.

Mental changes or changes in your personality may also be a symptom of brain tumors. These typically include any problems with your memory, speech, concentration and communication. Any changes in your behavior that are not associated with other disorders, medications or lifestyle changes should be reported to your physician immediately. The changes in behavior in patients diagnosed with brain tumors are typically caused by the tumor applying pressure on the skull.

Mass effect is an increased pressure in the brain and is also a symptom of a brain tumor. This pressure is caused by the tumor growing and causing the brain to be tightly fitted in the skull. Swelling of the brain may also occur. Mass effect causes damage by displacing and compressing brain tissue. This condition is also referred to as IICP and can include vomiting and nausea, double or blurred vision, drowsiness, loss of peripheral vision, headaches and changes in personality. Swollen optic nerves are typically associated with IICP and can often be found during a routine eye examination.

Other brain tumor symptoms that occur commonly but are not specific are known as focal symptoms. Focal symptoms often help doctors to determine just where the tumor is located in the brain. Focal symptoms can include problems with the ears such as hearing loss, ringing sounds in the ears and buzzing. Decreased control of the muscles may also be evident. Other focal symptoms include difficulty walking, speech difficulties, decreased sensation in the affected area, lack of coordination, paralysis and/or weakness in the extremities, double vision and problems with overall balance much like those experienced when a patient has an inner ear disturbance.

If you are experiencing any brain tumor symptoms, it is crucial that you visit your doctor immediately. He or she will take down your personal and family medical history and perform other tests needed for diagnosis. Many of the symptoms of a brain tumor are also the symptoms of other less serious diseases and disorders. Your doctor will order specific tests to determine whether your symptoms are caused by a brain tumor or another medical condition.

Last updated on Dec 16th, 2010 and filed under Cancer Research. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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