A brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in the patient’s brain. Some of these are benign; others are malignant. Brain tumors can begin in the brain — primary brain tumors. Or they can metastasize (spread) from elsewhere — secondary brain tumors.
When a person hears they have a brain tumor, this is the ultimate “bad news.” But at Texas Neurosurgery, our neurosurgeons have the expertise necessary to give you options.
One of the most important issues with brain tumors is catching them as quickly as possible. This means paying attention to the warning signs and symptoms.
Signs and symptoms of a brain tumor
Every patient can exhibit different signs and symptoms. These can vary greatly and will usually depend on the location of the tumor in the brain, the size, and its rate of growth. These are some areas to watch:
- Changes in headaches — The way in which you get headaches can change. Worsening headaches are common in about half of the people with brain tumors. The pain is persistent, but not like a migraine. Over-the-counter pain medications don’t help. Your headaches hurt more when you exercise or even change position.
- Seizures — About 50 percent of people with a brain tumor will have a seizure. This is caused by the tumor pushing on nerve cells. This interferes with the electrical signals, resulting in a seizure.
- Personality changes or mood swings — These tumors can disrupt your brain function, leading to behavior changes and mood swings. Relaxed people may become tense and irritable. Go-getters may become passive.
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting — Tumors can cause hormone imbalances in early stages, leading to nausea and vomiting.
- Vision problems — Blurred vision, double vision, or loss of peripheral vision is often the result of a brain tumor.
- Memory loss and confusion — A tumor in the frontal or temporal lobe can affect memory. A tumor in the frontal or parietal lobe can affect reasoning and decision-making. Concentrating can become a challenge. Confusion occurs with simple matters. Multitasking and planning become difficult.
- Fatigue — This isn’t fleeting fatigue; it is persistent. You’re exhausted most of the time. You feel weak and your limbs feel heavy. You’re falling asleep during in the middle of the day.
- Balance problems — Seemingly out of nowhere, you have trouble with your balance.
- Hearing problems — Tumors in the temporal lobe or near cranial nerves lead to hearing problems.
These are the most common symptoms that a person has a brain tumor. But this isn’t an exhaustive list. If you are experiencing any of these issues, please give the team at Texas Neurosurgery a call immediately at (214) 823-2052. We have a variety of treatment options depending on your unique situation.