What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?

brain tumor

I wanted to share this information with everyone since this is something that MAY be occurring with me. I have been dealing with some issues for the last year or so and finally decided to talk to my doctor about them. She immediately told me that she is scheduling me for an MRI of my brain and said there is a possibility that I may have a benign tumor. Needless to say, I am scared to death. My MRI is scheduled for Wednesday. Please keep me in your prayers.

If you have any of these symptoms, please talk to your doctor immediately.

symptoms of brain tumor

Symptoms of brain tumors depend upon the location and size of the tumor. Tumors cause direct damage by invading brain tissue and causing brain pressure to increase. Compression of brain tissue by a growing tumor creates noticeable symptoms.

Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • headaches
  • may be worse in the morning when waking up
  • can occur during sleep
  • are aggravated by coughing, sneezing or exercise
  • can be associated with vomiting, blurred vision, double vision, or confusion
  • seizures (especially in adults)
  • weakness of a limb or part of the face
  • change in mental functioning

Other Symptoms

  • clumsiness
  • memory loss
  • confusion
  • difficulty writing or reading
  • changes in the ability to hear taste or smell
  • decreased alertness (may include drowsiness and loss of consciousness)
  • difficulty swallowing
  • dizziness or vertigo
  • eye problems such as drooping eyelids and unequal pupils
  • uncontrollable movements
  • hand tremors
  • loss of balance
  • loss of bladder or bowel control
  • numbness or tingling on one side of the body
  • trouble speaking or understanding what others are saying
  • changes in mood, personality, emotions, and behavior
  • difficulty walking
  • muscle weakness in the face, arm, or leg

Symptoms of Pituitary Tumors

The following symptoms can occur with pituitary tumors:

  • nipple discharge (galactorrhea)
  • lack of menstruation in women
  • development of breast tissue (gynecomastia) in men
  • enlargement of the hands and feet
  • sensitivity to heat or cold
  • increased amounts of body hair (hirsutism)
  • low blood pressure
  • obesity

How Are Brain Tumors Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of a brain tumor begins with a physical exam and a look at the patient’s medical history. The physical exam includes a very detailed neurological examination. During this exam, the doctor tests to see if your cranial nerves (nerves that have their origin in the brain) are intact. The doctor also evaluates your muscle strength and coordination. This examination includes looking inside the eyes with an ophthalmoscope, an instrument that shines a light through your pupils and onto your retinas. This allows the doctor to check how your pupils react to light. It also allows the doctor to look directly into your eyes to see if there is any swelling of the optic nerve. When pressure increases inside the skull, changes in the optic nerve can occur. The doctor may also test your memory and check your ability to do mathematical calculations.

Tests are ordered based on the findings of the history and physical. The University of Pittsburgh Department of Neurosurgery and the Mayo Clinic say that the following tests are useful for diagnosis of brain tumor:

CT Scan of the Head (With or Without Contrast)

Contrast is achieved in a CT (computerized tomography) scan of the head by using a special dye that helps doctors see some structures more clearly.

MRI of the Head

With an MRI of the head, a special dye can be used to help doctors detect tumors.


This study uses a dye that is injected into an artery (usually in the groin area). The dye travels to the arteries in the brain, allowing doctors to see what the blood supply of tumors look like. This information is useful at the time of surgery.

Brain Scan

A brain scan uses harmless radioactive dye that is injected into a vein. The dye is taken up by the tumor and the images of the uptake are captured on film.

Skull X-rays

Brain tumors can cause changes in the bones of the skull, and specific X-rays can show if any changes have occurred. These X-rays can also pick up calcium deposits, which are sometimes contained within a tumor.


A small piece of the tumor is obtained and examined by a specialist called a neuropathologist. The biopsy will identify if the tumor cells are benign or malignant. It will also determine whether the cancer originated in the brain (primary) or another part of the body (secondary).

For more information about brain tumors, please visit here - http://www.healthline.com/health/brain-tumor#Definition1

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