Just as brain tumors come in all shapes and sizes, so do sign and symptoms of brain tumors. It is possible to have one, many, or no signs at all. Symptoms and signs of a brain tumor can be either general or specific to the location of the tumor. A general symptom is caused by the pressure of the tumor pressing against the brain or spinal cord. Specific symptoms related to the location of the tumor are caused when a part of the brain is malfunctioning because of the tumor. When it comes to treating a brain tumor, early diagnosis and treatment are key to recovery. Here are some early warning signs of brain tumors.
Locational Cause, Symptomatic Effect
The signs and symptoms someone experiences depends on the location of the tumor. For example, if the tumor is located in the part of the brain that controls eyesight, then symptoms may include blurry or double vision. If the tumor is located in the part of the brain that controls the arm, then symptoms may include numbness in the arm. Since the brain controls information for every part of your body, the possible symptoms a person with a brain tumor may experience may be easily linked. That being said, some signs and symptoms tend to be more common than others.
As previously mentioned, a general symptom of a brain tumor is caused when pressure by the tumor press against the brain or spinal cord. Look for:
· Changes in memory or thinking, or personality
· Clumsiness; problems speaking or swallowing
· Difficulty controlling facial expressions
· Sudden changes in vision (blurriness, double vision, or loss of vision)
· Unexplained headaches; seeing floating spots or shapes (“aura”)
· Drowsiness or fatigue, as well as problems sleeping
· Difficulty walking or performing everyday activities
Symptoms specific to the location of the tumor
Specific symptoms related to the location of the tumor are caused when a part of the brain is malfunctioning because of the tumor. Look for:
- Pressure or headache near the tumor
- Trouble with fine motor skills or loss of balance – linked with tumors in the cerebellum
- Inability to look up – a symptom of pineal gland tumors
- Partial or complete loss of vision – a symptom of a tumor in the occipital lobe or temporal lobe of the cerebrum
- Changes in judgment, loss of initiative, sluggishness, and muscle weakness or paralysis – a symptom of tumors in the frontal lobe of the cerebrum
- Changes in speech, hearing, memory, or emotional state (e.g., aggressiveness, problems understanding or retrieving words) – a symptom of a tumor in the frontal and temporal lobes of the cerebrum
- Altered menstrual periods, lactation, and growth in hands and feet in adults – symptoms of pituitary tumors
- Altered perception of touch or pressure, arm or leg weakness on one side of the body, or confusion with the eft and right sides of the body – symptoms of tumors in the frontal and/or parietal lobes of the cerebrum
- Difficulty swallowing, facial weakness or numbness, or double vision – a symptom of a tumor in the brain stem
- Vision changes (double vision, loss of vision) – a symptom of a tumor in the temporal lobe, occipital lobe, or brain stem
What to do if you experience these symptoms
Don’t worry. Just because you have one of the symptoms above doesn’t mean you have a brain tumor. However, if you are noticing multiple symptoms or are concerned about sudden changes you are experiencing, consult your doctor immediately.
If you think you or a loved one may have a brain tumor, the friendly and knowledgeable doctors and staff at Front Range Spine and Neurosurgery in Colorado can help. Providing you with the best possible experience is always our main focus. Call (303) 790-1800 or use our online form to request an appointment today.