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What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?

The symptoms of a brain tumor depend on tumor size, type, and location. Symptoms may be caused when a tumor presses on a nerve or harms a part of the brain. Also, they may be caused when a tumor blocks the fluid that flows through and around the brain, or when the brain swells because of the buildup of fluid.

These are the most common symptoms of brain tumors:

  • Headaches (usually worse in the morning)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in speech, vision, or hearing
  • Problems balancing or walking
  • Changes in mood, personality, or ability to concentrate
  • Problems with memory
  • Muscle jerking or twitching (seizures or convulsions)
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms or legs

Most often, these symptoms are not due to a brain tumor. Another health problem could cause them. If you have any of these symptoms, you should tell your doctor so that problems can be diagnosed and treated.

Return to Brain Tumor (Symptoms, Signs, Types, Causes, Survival Rates)

See what others are saying

Comment from: superduper, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 26

I was diagnosed a month ago with a slow growing tumor/cyst that develops as early as in the fetal stage. The symptom that made me go to the doctor was a tiredness that has been bothering me for periods of a few days to a few weeks for the last 10 years or so (turning more frequent and heavier with time), and as I just took my driver's license I wanted to make sure I am not a dangerous driver. None of us expected a tumor, but as all blood tests were fine and despite the (actually quite likely) possibility it might have some psychological explanation, we decided to take an MRI scan to be certain it was not a physical cause to my being tired, before approaching it psychological. After diagnosis we realized that my mild one-sided hearing loss most likely is also a symptom of the tumor. Now aware of it, I notice several small symptoms, especially reduction in cognitive capacity, which I simply wrote off as growing up and changing interests and lifestyle. If it weren't for one heavy and sudden attack of tiredness while driving, I would probably still be unaware of the tumor, thinking my tiredness was due to bad sleeping routines and not being active enough.

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Comment from: dizzyblonde, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: July 01

I was just diagnosed with a brain tumor yesterday. I have been having symptoms for about 3 months. I was diagnosed with vestibular neuritis (VN) at first, and then I had an abnormal MRI. My symptoms were headaches, dizziness, nausea, tinnitus, being off balance, and vision problems which are the symptoms of the VN and also a brain tumor. In fact the neurosurgeon said that I may still have the neuritis but the tumor is much more important to take care of. After I read everyone else's symptoms I am so confused and upset. I will be happy when this is over.

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Comment from: Gilly, 75 or over Male (Caregiver) Published: March 30

I was eventually diagnosed with brain tumor in December 2014. My behavior changed, I was very upbeat, but confused, especially in regard to time. The general physician diagnosed dementia but we paid for an MRI, and this showed a 6 cm x 6 cm tumor glioma.

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