Brain Tumor Symptoms

Just as each one of us is a unique individual,each brain tumor is unique.Common brain tumor symptoms tend to be non-specific,mimicking other illnesses.  Brain tumor symptoms vary greatly from person to person because of two factors: where the tumor is located and its size.

GENERAL SYMPTOMS OF A BRAIN TUMOR
HEADACHES
Headaches caused by brain tumors may:
- Be worse when the person wakes up in the morning,and clear up in a few hours.
- Occur during sleep
- Be accompanied by vomiting,confusion,double vision,weakness,or numbness
- Get worse with coughing or exercise,or with a change in body position

SEIZURES:
Seizures are caused by a disruption in the normal flow of electricity in the brain which may cause:
- Convulsions
- Unusual sensations and loss of consciousness
- Muscle twitching or jerking of an arm or leg
- Abnormal smells or tastes
- Problems with speech or numbness and tingling

MENTAL/ PERSONALITY CHANGES
These can range from :
- Problems with memory
- Speech
- Communication
- Concentration changes to severe intellectual problems and confusion
- Changes in behaviour, temperament and personality

MASS EFFECT
The symptoms caused by increased intracranial pressure include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Drowsiness
- Vision problems such as blurred or double vision or loss of peripheral vision

FOCAL,OR LOCALIZAD SYMPTOMS
Focal symptoms include:
- Hearing problems such as ringing or buzzing sounds or hearing loss
- Decreased muscle control
- Lack of coordination
- Decreased sensation
- Weakness or paralysis
- Difficulty with walking or speech
- Balance problems
- Double vision

SYMPTOMS BY TUMOR LOCATION
The following ,more specific symptoms are due to a tumor's effect on specific brain structures.

Brain Stem-The Midbrain,Pons,Medulla Oblongata
A tumor of the brain stem produces a variety of symptoms which include:
- Vomiting (usually just after awakening)
- a clumsy,uncoordinated walk
- Muscle weakness on one side of the face causes a one-sided smile or drooping eyelid
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Slurred or nasal speech
- Head tilt
- Drowsiness
- Hearing loss
- Personality changes

Cerebellum:
The cerebellum together with the thalamus and cerebrum controls intricate muscular coordination,including walking and speech.

Cerebellopontine Angle:
The earliest symptoms of a tumor in this location is :
- Ringing or buzzing in the ear
- Dizziness

As a tumor grows the symptoms include:
- Deafness
- Loss of facial sensation
- Facial weakness

Cerebral Hemispheres
Frontal Lobe
Tumors in the frontal -lobe may initially be silent.As they grow,the symptoms include:
- One-sided paralysis
- Seizures
- Short-term memory loss
- Impaired judgement
- Personality or mental changes
- Urinary frequency
- Gait disturbances and communication problems
- Loss of smell
- Impaired vision
- Swollen optic nerve

Occipital Lobe
The symptoms include:
- Blindness in one direction
- Other visual disturbances
- Seizures

Parietal Lobe
The symptoms include:
- Seizures
- Language disturbances
- Loss of ability to read
- Difficulty with body orientation in space
- Recognition of body parts
- Difficulty with calculations
- Difficulty knowing left from right
- Sentences containing comparisons or cross-references may not be understood

Temporal Lobe
The symptoms include:
- Seizures
- Ability to recognise sounds or the source of sounds may be affected
- Impaired Vision

Basal Ganglia
One sided paralysis is the most common symptom.

Corpus Callosum
The symptoms include:
- Impaired judgement
- Defective memory
- Behavioral changes

Meninges
A tumor in this location causes symptoms by pressure and compression rather than by growth into brain tissue.Seizures are common.

Midline
The symptoms include:
- Headaches
- Nausea
- A swollen optic nerve
- Abnormal eye movements and vision
- Alteration of personality or consciousness
- Impairment of glandular functions can cause delayed or accelerated growth
- Development of a water balance problem

Optic Tract
The symptoms include:
- Eye movement disorder
- Abnormal pupil reactions
- Impaired vision
- Effect on production of hormones

Pineal Region
The symptoms include:
- Hydrocephalus with the symptoms of increased intracranial pressure
- Problems with eye movements
- Hormonal disturbances such as precocious puberty in children

Pituitary
The symptoms include:
- Headache
- Vision changes
- Breast enlargement and secretion

Posterior Fossa
The symptoms include:
- Headaches
- Nausea
- Vomiting
- A swollen optic nerve
- Clumsy,uncoordinated walk,swaying and staggering
- Dizziness
-Tremors
- Difficulty with coordination and speech
- Double vision
- Nerve irritation can cause pain in the back of head or neck or tilting of the head

Skull Base
The symptoms include:
- Cranial nerves are often affected causing slurred speech
- Swallowing difficulties
- Double vision
- Facial weakness
- Balance problems

Thalamus
The symptoms include:
- Sensory loss such as the sense of touch on the side of the body opposite the side of the tumor
- Muscle weakness
- Decreased intellect
- Vision problems
- Speech difficulties
- Loss of urinary control
- Headache
- Nausea
- Vomiting

Third Ventricle
The symptoms include:
- Hydrocephalus causing increased intracranial pressure
- Leg weakness
- Fainting spells
- Impaired memory
- Hypothalamic dysfunction

Compiled By-Vanita Gupta
Article 5/29.
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