A slow-growing brain tumor can be a silent killer since in its initial stages patients notice no symptoms whatsoever. Much depends on the position of the tumor and how fast it develops. Symptoms appear when it starts exerting pressure on the brain, and this affects the brain’s functioning in a certain area. Since the various parts of the brain have different roles, the symptoms will vary according to where the disease has developed. Brain tumors are relatively rare and usually benign, but because of their seriousness, everyone should err on the side of caution. Whoever experiences any of the following symptoms should consult their doctor immediately.
Signs of a Brain Tumor: Deterioration in Eyesight
If vision starts to go blurred, making it hard to read or watch a film, it might be a symptom of this potentially life-threatening condition. In particular, there is a reason to worry if the vision loss happens after a change in body position, for example, after quickly getting up from a chair. In the vast majority of cases, the eyesight change has a less severe cause. It might be simply a sign that reading glasses are now needed, or it is time to visit the optician for a checkup. All the same, even if the chances of serious disease are small, get a checkup.
Suffering from Seizures
A mention of seizures or spastic fits usually brings the disease of epilepsy to mind, but it could also be a symptom of a brain tumor. Information doctors gather shows that this is one of the most frequent reasons given by the patient to explain why they come for a consultation. About 25% of brain tumor patients experience seizures. At the most severe level, they lose consciousness during a seizure while their whole body twitches uncontrollably. More commonly, the twitching attack only affects one limb, and the patient remains conscious throughout. Occasionally, the seizures occur in the brain, during which the patient becomes unable to speak or perform basic functions until the duration is over.
Loss of Control over Bodily Movements
A brain tumor might lead to the sufferer experiencing a certain lack of control over certain bodily movements and functions. This lack of monitoring may express itself in various ways. For example, some lose their sense of balance so they might even fall over. They might also find they cannot coordinate limb movements or perhaps the muscles in the face suddenly feel feeble. The fact that this happens does not conclusively prove they have this disease. Doctors will check out many other possibilities, for example, maybe an attack of vertigo caused the balance problem. Often this condition will occur on one side of the body or the other, depending on the area of the brain where the tumor exists.
Sickness, or nausea, is, without a doubt, a common symptom of a wide range of illnesses. Many of these are much less severe and far more frequent than the brain tumor so making nausea to tumor connection is far from automatic. However, if the patient notices that their nausea is worse in the mornings, or that it varies when they change positions or makes them unable to eat, they have a little more reason to be concerned.
Overcome with Fatigue
Feelings of fatigue or drowsiness also have multiple possible causes. In many cases, the reasons might be connected to the person’s emotional state and the kind of lifestyle they are leading. Someone who starts to doze off to sleep during the day or starts sleeping for longer than usual has no reason to suspect they have this serious disease. Nevertheless, since in the later stages a brain tumor might cause this unusual tiredness, it is worth being aware of this possibility, however, remote it might be.
Suffering from Headaches
A headache is another very common occurrence with no shortage of possible causes. Some people tend to get headaches more than others. Often, this is explained by life pressures and the ability to cope with them. These headaches are unpleasant but no reason to go and see a doctor. However, if headaches suddenly become more intense with an increased frequency the possibility that something is seriously wrong increases.
Speech is Affected
Many brain tumor symptoms are similar if not identical to signs of common conditions. In all of these cases, the balance of probabilities is that the symptom does not come from a tumor. What part of the brain the tumor is pressing against determines the type of symptoms. However, if it becomes difficult for someone to speak there is no way they can quickly dismiss it as nothing worth worrying about. Tumors in the brain stem can affect the ability to speak. Anyone in this situation should immediately seek medical help.
If the brain tumor develops in the frontal lobe, it could trigger certain changes in personality. These might take the form of behaving in ways out of character or perhaps changes in thinking that depart from the previous way this person’s mind operates. Family and friends could sense that something does just not feel right. However, before suspecting such a serious illness remember that personality and thinking changes come from many sources. If someone seems to be acting and thinking differently than normal, the cause could just as well be an emotional difficulty. Sometimes they also make a conscious decision to make some radical change in their life without informing others.
Going Numb or Weak
A brain tumor that affects the parietal lobe could lead to one side of the body feeling very weak or numb. Perhaps this numbness comes in the form of a tingling sensation in the hands and feet. This numbness is similar to the familiar pins and needles sensation that people get after sitting still without changing their position for a long time.
Damage to the Memory
If a brain tumor affects the temporal lobe, it might impair the patient’s ability to remember information. In addition to the loss of memory, they could also find it harder than usual to concentrate. Additionally, their analytical skills might decline. All of these phenomena have some other possible causes. For example, in the case of someone in their later years, dementia or general mental deterioration is a more likely cause.