Common Brain Tumor Symptoms
March 9, 2017
The complexities of how the human brain functions, and the fact that the brain controls every function of the body, means that tumors of any size and positioning can bring a marked set of symptoms, and any area of the body can be affected. However, tumor signs are not always recognised at an early stage, even by medics, and can often be confused with symptoms of other illnesses. Early diagnosis is vital to effective treatment and greatly increases the chances for recovery, so be especially vigilant for combinations of tumor symptoms.
Brain Tumors and Head Pain
Headaches are the most common sign of brain tumors. However, brain tumor headaches tend to follow certain patterns not always seen in other headaches. It is the growing pressure on the brain caused by increasing tumor size or by an accumulation of fluid around the tumor, that causes most tumor headaches. As such these are extremely persistent, often excruciatingly painful and fail to respond to usual headache pain medications.
In some cases tumor-induced headaches are worse in the morning and are accompanied by extreme nausea. Vomiting can alleviate the symptoms and the headache becomes less severe for the rest of the day, but a brain tumor headache is far harder than normal headaches to get rid of completely. Development of a persistent headache is not a cause for panic, however; there are many other causes and a cerebral tumor is the least likely, but persistent and strong head pain symptoms should always be checked by a doctor at the earliest opportunity.
Brain Tumors Cause Changes to the Senses
Many tumors in the brain will frequently cause changes to the body’s senses of hearing, sight, taste and smell. One or more of these signs may accompany persistent headache or nausea.
Hearing Changes and Auditory Sensitivity
Hearing changes include sudden loss of hearing or decreased sensitivity to sound, or it can be quite the opposite bringing heightened awareness to sound with the need for volumes to be lowered and noisy places avoided. There may be ringing in the ears, buzzing noises or just an awareness of “strange sounds.”
Brain Tumors and Vision Changes
Many tumor sufferers report a sudden change in their vision; this is often blurred vision or seeing double, loss of the peripheral vision, or may be a feeling of constant eye-tiredness or soreness. Redness behind one eye can also be a sign, as tumors growing behind the eye can affect blood supply and the optic nerve may become swollen. The eye region may appear swollen or puffy, and that eye can have marked tendency to water.
Brain Tumors Cause Changes to Sense of Smell and Taste
Brain tumor sufferers commonly report smelling persistent smells or, they become less sensitive to smell. These sufferers begin to enjoy food less because they cannot smell or taste it properly. Tumor sufferers can start saying that everything smells strange, is tasteless or tastes odd, and a warning sign may be adding unusual amounts of salt or flavorings to food when the sufferer never did these things before.
Brain Tumors Cause Seizures
Many tumor sufferers start experiencing seizures. A seizure is not always of the type that incurs dramatic collapse; it can be far more subtle. “Grand mal” seizures can happen with tumors and cause convulsions, incontinence, collapse, pronounced jerking and twitching of the limbs and frothing at the mouth, and the sufferer may fall to the floor and lose consciousness. However, ‘petit mal’ seizures are less pronounced and often missed. These smaller fits are often referred to as “absence attacks”.
These can cause the sufferer to stare blankly, engage in odd ‘lip-smacking’ behavior, undertake repetitive hand movements, and stand still without warning, suddenly stopping what they were doing and becoming oblivious to surroundings and activities. The petit-mal seizure may last only a few seconds and is often simply misunderstood as ‘strange behavior’, but a common sign that it is neurological is that the sufferer is totally oblivious and will make an immediate recovery, unaware of strange behaviors having occurred; this can leave onlookers bewildered.
However, seconds before experiencing an absence attack, some sufferers say they start to feel strange; they’ll often find this sensation hard to describe. It may be that they feel an inexplicable sense of doom, a feeling of a “black cloud” descending over them, or they may see a strange aura or smell a certain smell. Not all petit-mal seizure sufferers have any warning signs.
Other Mental, Physical and Attitude Changes
Because the brain controls all body movements and functions, just about any sudden major alteration in behavior or sudden onset unusual symptoms can be tumor-induced. These include the development of unusual or irrational fears, or in some cases the feeling of fear is present all the time. In some very rare cases, best brain supplements can actually help!
Speech and concentration can be affected, and there can be one-sided weakness. The sense of balance may be upset; a sufferer may feel dizzy and need to hold onto items for support or may develop an unsteady walk. Many sufferers become unduly tired or drowsy when walking or exerting themselves, and even a slight exertion can cause increased dizziness and as need to sleep; this is caused by increased intra-cranial pressure – pressure building up on the brain, and increasing whenever exertion takes place; this usually happens when tumors are sizeable or more advanced.
Attitude changes are common in sufferers too. They may seem to become strangely uncaring or insensitive to others. There may be unexpected anger outbursts or a marked change in behavior such as out-of-character drinking, swearing, crying or aggressive behavior.