Brain Cancer

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Quick GuideUnderstanding Cancer: Metastasis, Stages of Cancer, Pictures

Understanding Cancer: Metastasis, Stages of Cancer, Pictures

What are brain cancer symptoms and signs?

Although there are few early warning signs, the most common signs and symptoms of brain cancer may include one or more of the following:

Other common symptoms that can occur include

  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • blurry vision,
  • a change in a person's alertness,
  • sleepiness,
  • mental capacity reduction and/or confusion,
  • memory problems,
  • changes in speech, such as difficulty speaking, impaired voice, or inability to speak,
  • personality changes,
  • hallucinations,
  • weakness on one side of the body,
  • coordination problems,
  • fatigue, and
  • pins and needles sensations and/or reduced sensation of touch.

These symptoms can also occur in people who do not have brain cancer, and none of these symptoms alone or in combination can predict that a person has brain cancer. Cancer can occur in any part of the brain (for example, occipital, frontal, parietal, or temporal lobes, brainstem, or meningeal membranes). A few brain cancers may produce few or no symptoms (for example, some meningeal and pituitary gland tumors).

What type of doctors treat brain cancer?

Usually, the patient's primary-care physician or pediatrician helps to coordinate the treatment team of doctors to individually treat the patient. The treatment team may consist of oncologists, neurologists, radiation oncologists, neurosurgeons, and additional personnel like occupational and physical therapists and possibly speech therapists, depending upon the outcome of initial treatments. For patients who have terminal and/or inoperable brain cancer, hospice and other organizations may help the patient and their family and friends coordinate supportive care.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/19/2016

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