Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Tumor

Signs and Symptoms of a Brain Tumor

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Brain tumors can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). The symptoms of each are very similar. Symptoms may arise because of impairment of the particular area of the brain where a tumor is located or enlarged intracranial pressure, which is pressure in and around the brain.

For example, a tumor in the area of the brain that processes vision may result in double vision. A tumor in the area of the brain that controls balance may result in coordination. Increased intracranial pressure can produce a range of symptoms that affect areas of the brain that are near the brain tumor, or areas of the brain that are located relatively far from the brain tumor.

When a headache gets worse or won’t go away, it’s natural to wonder whether it could be a symptom of something more serious, like a brain tumor. While headaches can be a symptom of brain tumors, those that are truly tumor-related generally have distinct characteristics or are combined with other symptoms, such as vomiting. In fact, seizures are generally the first sign that a brain tumor might be present. Other symptoms can contain cognitive changes, loss of consciousness, dizziness, and vomiting.


Seizures are often the first symptom experienced when a brain tumor is present. There are several different types of seizures, and those reasons by brain tumors are focal seizures. They arise in the area occupied by the brain tumor and may rapidly spread to involve the whole brain. Generalized seizures, on the other hand, arise in the whole brain and are usually caused by congenital diseases; absence seizures are one example. While an easy observation generally isn’t enough to determine that a seizure is a focal one, it is essential in your diagnostic workup.


Brain tumor headaches tend to be dull and persistent, with throbbing headaches occurring less often. Headaches due to a brain tumor are often worse in the morning and may get better throughout the day. They may reason pain all over or that’s worse on one side of the head. Additional symptoms, like vomiting, may (and most often are) also be present. Pain may also worsen with physical activity, sneezing, coughing, bending over, or bearing down while having a bowel movement.


Vomiting, especially in the morning, with or without nausea, can be a symptom of a brain tumor. Vomiting is most common in the morning, and, when due to a brain tumor, is often triggered by an abrupt change (such as rolling over in bed).

Cognitive Changes

Memory: A brain tumor may reason the brain to procedure information at a slower speed. A person may become forgetful in a way that at first isn’t alarming, but progresses beyond the forgetfulness we all experience at times.

Problem-solving: Tasks such as doing simple math, writing sentences, setting up a chessboard, or even following a recipe may become challenging.

Concentration: A person may become more plainly distracted and have problems staying on task. It may take longer to full basic tasks than usual.

Confusion: Symptoms can vary from mild confusion, such as not understanding the nuances of a conversation, to more extreme symptoms, such as not recognizing the face of a familiar person.