Brain Cancer: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 9/10/2019

Brain cancer is cancer that arises in the brain. Primary brain cancer begins in cells of the brain itself. More commonly, cancer in the brain occurs when cancers elsewhere in the body the body spread, or metastasize, to the brain. However, these are not considered to be true brain cancers. While the cause of brain cancer is poorly understood, inherited and environmental factors are believed to be important in its development.

Symptoms and signs of brain cancer can include headache, weakness, clumsiness, difficulty walking, seizures, altered mental status, vomiting, nausea, or vision abnormalities. Other possible associated symptoms can include speech difficulty, dizziness, vertigo, muscle weakness, sleepiness, memory problems, hallucinations, fatigue, personality changes, or confusion. Symptoms may vary according to the specific location of the cancer within the brain.

Other brain cancer symptoms and signs


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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.