Brain tumour is often difficult to diagnose as in many patients, the symptoms are ambiguous. The severity of the symptoms in a person with brain tumour depends on factors such as:
As the tumour grows, in many patients, it can lead to increase in intracranial pressure and cause symptoms such as headache, nausea, vomiting etc. The tumour can invade or compress other parts of the brain as it grows and cause new symptoms. Seldom do the brain tumours not cause any symptom or be discovered by chance.
Common symptoms of brain tumour
Headache: It is usually worse at night and in the morning (just after waking) and gradually decreases as the day goes on. Headache due to brain tumour, usually, does not improve upon taking the common pain relieving medications for headache.
Vomiting: It usually occurs just after waking and, sometimes, accompanies nausea.
Seizures: The tumour compresses the brain tissues and can irritate them thereby, causing seizure.
Limb weakness and any abnormal sensation in the limbs: These symptoms are caused when the tumour in certain parts of the brain such as the motor or sensory cortex grows. Usually the symptoms develop on the opposite of the tumour. For example, the right leg may feel weak or have an abnormal sensation due to a tumour in the left motor cortex.
Blurred vision: The vision may become blurred or there may be a total loss of vision if the nerve to the eye is compressed or swollen (Papilloedema). Other symptoms that can develop in the eye include squint or double vision (diplopia).
Memory: Recent or long term memory may be affected by the tumour.
Speech: Some tumours may impair the person’s ability to understand (sensory aphasia) or express (motor aphasia). Some other tumours may affect the person’s ability to use the right words.
Hormonal Effects: In some cases, if the tumour is in and around the pituitary/hypothalamus region (sellar and suprasellar region,) it may lead to an excess or deficiency of one/many hormones. This may affect functions such as growth, fertility, libido, body weight, mental functions etc.
Other symptoms: Mental changes, sluggishness or drowsiness, uncoordinated, clumsy movements and loss of consciousness are some of the other symptoms of brain tumours.
If you have these symptoms, it does not mean you have brain tumour, but a person with any of the above symptom/symptoms should visit a doctor to diagnose the cause and get a treatment.
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