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Health A to Z

7 Warning Signs Of Brain Tumour You Should Know

Smitakshi Guha

A brain tumour diagnosis is scary, but not all tumours are malignant. Read on to find out more.

Brain tumours are of various types, some are malignant (cancerous) and some are benign (non-cancerous). The malignant tumours are worrisome and can primarily start in the brain, and are known as primary brain tumours, while some of them spread from other parts of the body into the brain and are known as secondary brain tumours.

Brain tumours have a list of symptoms and signs associated with them but they vary from individual to individual depending on the type and size of the tumour as well as the part of the brain affected. Also, people with brain tumours may only experience a few symptoms associated with them and not all at once.

Here are some of the most commonly known warning signs of brain tumour:

Fluctuations in headaches

Approximately 50% of the people with brain tumours experience worsening headaches with time. Any tumour in the brain puts stress on various blood vessels as well as the sensitive nerves, resulting in new headaches or changes in your old headache patterns. Some of these changes include:

  • Headaches accompanied by vomiting
  • Constant headache that doesn’t seem like a migraine
  • Headaches that get worse whenever you work out or cough
  • Headaches that hurt more in the morning when you wake up
  • Headaches that do not get better even with over-the-counter pain killers

While frequent headaches are one of the common signs of brain tumour, they don’t necessarily mean you have one. There could be many other reasons behind a headache, such as lack of sleep, proper diet or some other underlying condition. Hence, it’s essential to speak to a doctor online if you’re experiencing headaches often.

Mood swings or evident personality changes

If a tumour is located in certain parts of your cerebrum, the frontal lobe or the temporal lobe, it can affect your personality and behaviour. For instance, if you have always been patient, you can now suddenly be short-tempered, if you’ve always been happy go lucky, you can now suddenly get irked at the smallest of the things. Mood swings and personality changes are also associated with some mental disorders, substance abuse, and some other brain-related health concerns. So, it’s always wise to speak to a doctor first for the right diagnosis when you experience these symptoms.

Seizures

Since brain tumours put pressure on certain nerve cells, this can meddle with your body’s electrical signals, resulting in seizures. Research says that about 50% of people who have brain tumours, experience at least one seizure. Seizures are also one of the most prominent warning signs of brain tumour. However, sometimes they can also be caused by epilepsy, drug withdrawal and other neurological issues.

Fatigue

Persistent fatigue is also one of the common signs associated with a brain tumour. It’s often combined with a loss of focus, irritable behaviour, feeling of weakness in the limbs, irregular sleep patterns, etc. That being said, fatigue is also caused by other conditions like anaemia, vitamin deficiencies, autoimmune diseases, dehydration, and other neurological conditions.

Confusion and memory loss

A tumour in the frontal or temporal lobe can cause problems with your memory while a tumour in the frontal or parietal lobe can affect your decision-making and reasoning functions. For instance, more than often you may feel like it’s too hard to focus and you get easily distracted, you forget something that just happened, you’re confused even about the simplest of the things, etc. However, mild cognitive issues like these can also be a result of vitamin deficiencies, psychiatric illnesses, side-effects of chemotherapy, and other medications.

Speech difficulties and vision disturbances

Tumours in the brain can cause vision abnormalities and affect one’s communication skills. Issues with speech, reading, and writing are prominent symptoms associated with a brain tumour.  This is especially if the tumour is located on the left side of the brain since the language-set dwells in this part of the brain. In some cases where the tumour exists in the back of the brain, blurry or double vision appears as a sign associated with a brain tumour. However, these symptoms can also be caused by neurological disorders and stroke.

Numbness and weakness of limbs

At times, brain tumours cause some numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. As your body fights the tumour, there’s some amount of weakness of the limbs that are experienced due to the pressure effects of the tumour over the surrounding brain tissue.

It goes without saying that regular health checks and speaking to a neurologist are a must if you experience any of these symptoms. Knowing the cause behind your symptoms and the right diagnosis at the right time will certainly make your treatment options better and easier. 

For any health concerns, you can speak to a doctor online right away on MFine.

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