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Brain tumor symptoms

The symptoms of a brain tumor depends on it's size, the speed it grows and location, although it may appear at any age, it is more frequent after the age of 60.

Usually benign brain tumors, such as meningioma or glioma, grow slowly and do not always need treatment because often the risk of surgery is greater than the tumor's bad effects.

However, when tumors are malignant, cancer cells proliferate rapidly and can reach various regions of the brain. These cancer cells may also appear as metastases from other outbreaks of cancer, such as lung or breast cancer. Sometimes these symptoms are similar to those of an aneurysm, but the doctor can differentiate them through imaging tests at the hospital. See what are the signs of a brain aneurysm.

Brain tumor symptoms

1. General symptoms for all types of brain tumor

A brain tumor, regardless of the region of the brain that is affected, may cause general symptoms such as:

  • Headache;
  • Blurred vision;
  • Seizures;
  • Nausea and vomiting without apparent cause;
  • Lack of balance;
  • Changes in mood and behavior;
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in one part of the body;
  • Excessive drowsiness.

However, it is important to remember that these symptoms can also be caused by other diseases, such as a migraine, multiple sclerosis and even a stroke. So, therefore it is necessary to seek a general practitioner or a neurologist for testing to be done, so that the cause of the symptoms is identified.

2. Specific symptoms of the affected region

In addition to the general symptoms, a brain tumor can cause specific symptoms that vary according to the location and size of the tumor:

Affected region of the brainMain symptoms
Frontal lobe
  • Difficulty in moving your legs or arms;
  • Tingling sensation in the body;
  • Difficulty in maintaining your attention to something;
  • Loss of sense of smell;
  • Frequent mood swings, and sometimes personality changes.
Parietal lobe
  • Loss of temperature and touch sensation, with difficulty feeling hot or cold;
  • Difficulty in naming an object;
  • Difficulty reading or writing;
  • Difficulty distinguishing the right side from the left side;
  • Loss of motor coordination.
Temporal lobe
  • Gradual loss of hearing;
  • Difficulty in understanding what is being said;
  • Memory problems;
  • Decreased sexual desire;
  • Difficulty recognizing familiar faces;
  • Aggressive behavior.
Occipital lobe
  • Changes in vision, such as blurred vision or black spots appear, for example;
  • Difficulty identifying colors;
  • Difficulty reading or writing.
Cerebellum
  • Difficulty maintaining balance;
  • Loss of ability to coordinate precise movements, such as pushing a button;
  • Difficulty walking;
  • Tremors;
  • Nausea.

The intensity of the symptoms vary according to the size of the tumor and characteristics of the cells, whether malignant or benign. In addition, factors such as age and general state of health may influence the severity and evolution of the symptoms.

How to confirm the diagnosis

In the presence of one or more symptoms, you should seek an neurologist for more specific diagnostic tests to be performed, such as magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography, because the earlier the tumor is identified, the easier and more efficient the treatment will be.

In addition, if any lumps are detected during the examination, but it was not clear whether it is malignant or benign, the doctor may order a biopsy of the tumor so that the cells are evaluated in a laboratory, so that he can determine the best form of treatment.

Who is most at risk of having a cerebral tumor

In most cases, the brain tumor arises without a specific cause, however, there are some factors that seem to increase the incidence of this type of tumor, such as:

  • Being exposed frequently to radiation, as in radiation therapy to fight cancer;
  • Having a family history of brain tumor, or having a family syndrome that increases the risk of tumors.

In addition, having cancer elsewhere in the body can also lead to the development of a brain tumor, as metastases can spread and cause the development of cancer cells in the brain.


Bibliografia

  • MAYO CLINIC. Brain tumor. Link: <www.mayoclinic.org>. Access in 25 Mar 2019
  • NATIONAL BRAIN TUMOR SOCIETY. Before brain tumor diagnosis: Signs & Symptoms. Link: <braintumor.org>. Access in 25 Mar 2019
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