It is a pretty known fact that brain tumors come in all shapes and sizes. But what most people do not know is that so do their symptoms.
According to Theodore Schwartz, MD, a neurosurgeon with the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center, the key to a tumor’s symptoms really depends on its location. For instance, if your tumor is at that part of your brain that is in charge of your eyesight or your leg, you may exhibit symptoms such as blurry vision and limb weakness.
Every cell inside your brain can potentially form a tumor and since it is the brain that controls and interprets signals from every part of your body, the list of all possible tumor symptoms encompasses almost anything imaginable.
Nevertheless, there are symptoms and signs that are more common than others. Here are some of them.
Seizures are often the first signs of trouble regardless of the type of tumor you have. The reason for this is that the irritation from the tumor makes the brain’s neurons fire uncontrollably which causes you to get abnormal movements. Just like tumors, seizures can take many forms. For some people, the jerking and flexing is confined to only one limb or just a part of the face while others experience whole body convulsions.
If you find yourself struggling with your balance or fumbling with your keys or missing steps, that sort of clumsiness in your hands, arms or legs could be a sign of trouble. Difficulty in controlling your facial expressions, swallowing or speaking are also some of the ways that clumsiness could manifest in or around your head.
Just like clumsiness, losing feeling in some part of your face or anywhere in your body is something you should not ignore. Some tumors can form on the brain stem (the part of your brain where it connects with the spinal cord), and this can cause not only clumsy movements but loss of feeling as well.
5) Changes In Thinking Or Memory
Although it is true that tumors can cause big changes in a person’s behavior or personality, the types of extreme transformations that we sometimes hear about or see in movies are generally uncommon. People with tumors are more likely to suffer less-dramatic cognitive problems like feeling confused or having trouble remembering things.
According to Dr. Schwartz, always feeling uncomfortable or queasy on your stomach could be a sign of a tumor, especially if those symptoms are unexplained and persistent.
3) Changes In Vision
Double vision, blurry vision or loss of vision are all linked to tumors, Dr. Schwartz says. Changes in vision also include seeing floating shapes or spots (doctors call them “aura”).
2) Not Usually Headaches
For people suffering from headaches, you can breathe easy. Despite what most people would assume, headaches are often not an early indication of a tumor. Although they could come on with a really large tumor, headaches are not usually the first symptoms to emerge, Dr. Schwartz says.
1) Some Things You Need To Know
According to Dr. Schwartz, tumors are usually caused by some kind of genetic disorder. “But the majority of tumors arise in people with no known risk factors or predisposing factors,” he explains. Children and adults over 60 are more likely to develop tumors, but “everyone is at risk at any age,” he adds.
Dr. Schwartz adds that despite what you might have heard, cell phones are not included as a risk factor. “That’s a common misconception, but there’s no compelling evidence that pushes us to consider a link between cell phones and tumors,” he says.
For malignant or large brain tumors, treatment could include medications, radiation, chemotherapy or surgery. The good news is that not all brain tumors are serious and fatal. Schwartz explains that a lot of tumors are benign and small. “If we find one, we’ll just monitor it for growth or changes,” he adds.