Symptoms of Brain Tumors
by Michael Jubinville, MPH
Symptoms depend on where the tumor is, how big it is, and how fast it's growing. They may appear quickly or slowly get worse over time. They may include:
Headache is very common with a brain tumor. The headache happens because of increased pressure in the skull. Pressure is caused by:
Headaches tend to worsen over time. They're not relieved with usual methods. They are often most painful when waking up in the morning. They may also happen with vision problems such as double vision.
For some people, having a seizure is the first sign of a brain tumor. A seizure can occur suddenly and sometimes without warning. There are people who feel a change or signal (called an aura) before the seizure happens.
A seizure may be:
Not all seizures have shaking with the body. Some seizures are quick changes of consciousness. This may cause a person to fade out for a brief period.
Other General Symptoms
Pressure building in the skull may cause other symptoms such as:
Other Physical and Neurological Symptoms
Problems depend on where the tumor is. They will worsen as the tumor grows and presses into brain tissue. The most common are problems with:
Astrocytoma and oligodentroglioma in adults. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed... . Updated May 13, 2016. Accessed August 10, 2018.
General information about adult central nervous system tumors. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/brain/patient/adult-brain-treatment-pdq. Updated July 5, 2018. Accessed August 10, 2018.
Meningioma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116926/Meningioma . Updated January 19, 2017. Accessed August 10, 2018.
Overview of intracranial tumors. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/intracranial-and-spinal-tumors/overview-of-intracranial-tumors. Updated June 2018. Accessed August 10, 2018.
Signs and symptoms of adult brain and spinal cord tumors. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/brain-spinal-cord-tumors-adults/detection-diagnosis-staging/signs-and-symptoms.html. Updated November 6, 2017. Accessed August 10, 2018.
Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 8/10/2018
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