Brain and Spine
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What Are Some Common Brain Tumor Symptoms?

Do you know the symptoms of a brain tumor?

Some tumors produce no signs, and some common brain tumor symptoms are shared with other conditions. Tumors sometimes, but not always, require brain surgery.

What Is a Brain Tumor?

A brain tumor is a mass of abnormal cells growing in the brain. Tumors grow at an uncontrollable rate.

Normal cells age and die before new cells form to replace them. Tumor cells don’t die.

Tumors continue to increase in size as more tissue is added to the mass. There are benign and malignant tumors.

Benign tumors are those that do not contain cancerous cells though they may cause health problems.

Malignant tumors are those that are cancerous. Cancerous tumors generally grow faster than noncancerous ones.

Common Symptoms of Brain Tumors

A diagnosis usually begins with a doctor asking a patient to describe symptoms. If the signs are consistent with a brain tumor, the physician may recommend making an appointment with a neurosurgeon.

The surgeon may advise brain surgery or another type of treatment.

If you have any of the following indications or suspect you have a brain tumor, see a doctor immediately.

Headaches: Pain is caused by pressure from the tumor on the brain’s nerves. The pain from a tumor is persistent, continuous and may be worse at night. Pain from a tumor may not respond to medication. Pain may be more severe during physical activities.

Seizures: A seizure is a sudden convulsion caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Seizures usually happen quickly. Victims lose control of their bodies during an episode. A person suffering from a seizure may lose consciousness and be unable to control movements. After a seizure, pain, numbness or weakness may linger.

Drowsiness: As a tumor grows, a patient may feel drowsy and sleep more. As the tumor progresses, the sufferer may find it difficult to stay awake. Sometimes these tendencies progress until the person falls into a coma.

Memory Loss: Loss of memory, particularly of short-term memory, is a common symptom of tumors.

Vision or Hearing Problems: A tumor may cause blurred or double vision. A sufferer may see flashing lights or experience deteriorating sight. Changes in pupil size or the appearance of the eyes can occur. Some people lose hearing on one side or hear ringing.

Mood Changes: Brain tumor patients often suffer from depression which tends to grow as the tumor progresses. Insomnia, low energy and thoughts of suicide may also be present.

Behavior Changes: In addition to anxiety, a brain tumor may cause significant changes in behavior. For instance, patients may get irritable and have trouble with written and spoken language.

Don’t ignore these health problems if you have any of them. These signs may be an indication of a brain tumor.

A tumor isn’t something you can identify yourself. If you suspect something is wrong, make an appointment to see a doctor.

If you’re diagnosed with a brain tumor, consult a neurosurgeon who will advise you on a course of treatment.