Brain Tumor

Brain picture

Brain Tumor Symptoms

Symptoms (signs) of benign brain tumors often are not specific. The following is a list of symptoms that, alone or combined, can be caused by benign brain tumors; unfortunately, these symptoms can occur in many other diseases:

  • vision problems
  • hearing problems
  • balance problems
  • changes in mental ability (for example, concentration, memory, speech)
  • seizures, muscle jerking
  • change in sense of smell
  • nausea/vomiting
  • facial paralysis
  • headaches
  • numbness in extremities

Quick GuideMigraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment

Migraine or Headache? Migraine Symptoms, Triggers, Treatment

Brain tumor facts*

*Brain tumor facts Medically Edited by: Charles P. Davis, MD, PhD

  • Primary brain tumors can be either malignant (contain cancer cells) or benign (do not contain cancer cells). A primary brain tumor is a tumor which begins in the brain. If a cancerous tumor which starts elsewhere in the body sends cells which end up growing in the brain, such tumors are then called secondary or metastatic brain tumors. This discussion is focused on primary brain tumors.
  • Brain tumors can occur at any age.
  • The exact cause of brain tumors is not clear.
  • The symptoms of brain tumors depend on their size, type, and location.
  • The most common symptoms of brain tumors include headaches; numbness or tingling in the arms or legs; seizures, memory problems; mood and personality changes; balance and walking problems; nausea and vomiting; changes in speech, vision, or hearing.
  • Physicians group brain tumors by grade (the way the cells look under a microscope). The higher the grade number, the more abnormal the cells appear and the more aggressively the tumor usually behaves.
  • Brain tumors are classified as grade I, grade II, or grade III, or grade IV
  • The most common type of primary brain tumors among adults are astrocytoma, meningioma, and oligodendroglioma.
  • The most common type of primary brain tumors in children are medulloblastoma, grade I or II astrocytoma, (or glioma) ependymoma, and brain stem glioma.
  • Studies have found risk factors for brain tumors to include ionizing radiation from high dose X-rays (for example, radiation therapy where the machine is aimed at the head), and family history.
  • Brain tumors are diagnosed by the doctor based on the results of a medical history and physical examination and results of a variety of specialized tests of the brain and nervous system.
  • Treatment of a brain tumor depends on the type, location, and size of the tumor, as well as the age and health of the patient.
  • Options for brain tumor treatment include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy (or a combination of treatments).

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Cancer Report Newsletter

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Brain Tumor - Symptoms

    The symptoms of brain tumor can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

    Post View 63 Comments
  • Brain Tumor - Types

    Please describe the type of brain tumor you have.

    Post View 55 Comments
  • Brain Tumor - Treatment

    What kinds of treatment did you undergo for your brain tumor?

    Post View 3 Comments
  • Brain Tumor - Surgery

    Please describe your experience with surgery for a brain tumor.

    Post View 5 Comments
  • Brain Tumor - In Children

    Was your child diagnosed with a brain tumor? Please share your experience.

    Post View 3 Comments

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors