How to Recognize the Symptoms of Brain Tumors
Brain cancer is a tumor on the brain or on nearby tissue such as the membranes, pituitary gland, pineal glad or cranial nerves. Like many cancers, brain tumors develop when healthy cells mutate in their DNA. These mutations accelerate the growth of cells and increase their division rates until a tumor, or mass is formed.
Symptoms of brain cancer can be difficult to notice, as the majority of the time the cancer is not visible. Here are some of the symptoms of brain cancer, which could or could not be related to a tumor. If in doubt, check with a doctor.
General symptoms of a brain tumor:
Headaches, which may or may not be related to an abnormality in your brain. If you have experienced a change in your headaches, such as an increase of pain or development into migraines, check with your family doctor who will test you with a series of x-rays to determine if there is a tumor.
Seizures: specifically motor seizures which are also called convulsions. These can be seen by sudden involuntary movements in your muscles. There are several kinds of seizures including myclonic, where a person will experience twitches, jerks and spasms, and a more severe tonic-clonic, or grand mal seizure.
In a grand mal seizure a person often loses consciousness and has muscle spasms or contractions. They may also lose control of bodily functions including breathing. People have been known to turn a shade of blue due to the lack of oxygen in their system. After the seizure, a person may be disoriented, experience a headache, have a numbness, have sore muscles, have a change in several sensory elements such as vision, smell, hearing and touch, experience nausea and also fatigue.
Certain symptoms may direct the patient and doctor towards the exact location of the tumor. Here are a few symptoms that may suggest a particular type of brian cancer.
- Pressure and headaches in one location rather than a headache that moves to different areas.
- If the patient experiences a loss of balance and motor skills, it may be linked to a tumor in the cerebellum.
- Sluggishness, change in judgement, listless behavior or sometimes paralysis may be associated with a growth in or around the frontal lobe of the cerebrum.
- Sudden loss of vision (or partial loss) may be associated with a tumor in the occipital lobe.
- The inability to look upwards can point towards a tumor on the pineal gland.
- Growth of hands and feet, as well as lactation in women suggest a pituitary tumor.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, please contact your family doctor. The doctor will ask you a series of questions to help come up with a diagnosis. If a brain tumor has been detected, it will usually be dealt with by surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
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