Brain Cancer Symptoms & Signs
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Video: What Are the Symptoms of Brain Tumors?Dr. Baird identifies the symptoms and warning signs of brain tumors. He also briefly discusses potential causes of the disease.
Brain Cancer Symptoms
CTCA neurosurgeon Dr. Clinton Baird describes primary brain tumor symptoms, which are influenced by where the tumor is located and other factors.
What Are the Symptoms of Brain Cancer?
Symptoms of brain cancer depend on several factors, including the tumor type, size, location and extent, as well as age, health history and more.
Some common signs of brain cancer include headache, weakness, numbness, nausea, vomiting, or seizures. Some individuals may not feel right cognitively, or have visual, speech or coordination problems. The symptoms may be subtle or develop gradually.
Symptoms of brain cancer are influenced by which part of the brain is involved and the functional system it affects (e.g., motor, sensory, language, etc.). For example, vision problems may result from a tumor near the optic nerve. A tumor in the front part of the brain may affect the ability to concentrate and think. A tumor located in an area that controls motor function may cause weakness, numbness or difficulty with speech. Any tumor that is significantly large can create multiple symptoms because of the pressure created by the mass.
Potential Signs & Symptoms of Brain Cancer
Some potential brain cancer symptoms include:
- Headaches - Having a headache could be related to many causes. A noticeable change in the frequency and intensity of headaches may indicate a brain tumor.
- Vision Changes - A tumor on or near the optical nerve could cause blurred or double vision. Other types of brain tumors may cause abnormal eye movements or changes in vision, depending on the size and location of the tumor.
- Loss of Motor Skill – A brain tumor can affect certain areas of the brain responsible for motor functions, like balance, coordination or movement. Weakness of facial muscles may result from a tumor within the cranial nerves.
- Nausea and/or Vomiting – These symptoms, especially early in the morning and unrelated to other conditions, may indicate a brain tumor.
- Seizures - The onset of new seizures or convulsions can be the result of a tumor forming in the brain.
- Speech Problems – Some brain tumors can cause difficulty with speech.
- Cognitive Problems - A brain tumor can impact cognitive abilities and result in memory problems, poor concentration, confusion, difficulty thinking clearly or processing information, and language difficulties.
- Weakness or Numbness – Some brain tumors cause weakness on one side of the body or other paraneoplastic syndromes, like peripheral neuropathy (numbness or tingling in the hands and feet).
There are also some more subtle signs of brain cancer that may affect your overall sense of well-being:
- Change in Personality - The brain is responsible for many functions. Sometimes a tumor on the front part of the brain can cause gradual changes in behavior, personality and thinking.
- Hormonal Disorders - The pituitary gland, located at the base of the brain, is vital to the production and regulation of hormones. Tumors within this area may impact the hormones, resulting in symptoms similar to certain endocrine disorders.
NOTE: These symptoms may be attributed to a number of conditions other than brain cancer. It is important to consult with a medical professional for an accurate diagnosis.
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