There is a very specific need to be aware of the various symptoms of a brain tumor, because your primary healthcare provider may not be to be conversant with brain tumors. A brain tumor is a relatively rare disorder, and is the rarest tumor as well. In most cases, doctors do not relate brain health problems like lack of mental focus and cognition with brain tumors. The major reason behind this is the fact that it is not uncommon to hear about symptoms of a brain tumor from people who are not suffering from it. The only way to confirm the prevalence of a brain tumor, if you suspect it, is to get a brain scan.
Therefore, knowing when to get a brain scan done is also extremely important. One or a combination of the following symptoms can be indicative of a brain tumor:
- Headaches - Headaches are normal, and most of the people get headaches at some point in life. Headaches are not a clear sign of a brain tumor, but a new pattern in headaches is.
Look for the following changes in headaches:
- Different from headaches that you had before.
- Increase in frequency and severity.
- Accompanied by nausea and vomiting.
- Headache that gets worse after exertion.
- Seizure – Seizures are the second most commonly reported symptom of a brain tumor after headaches. Generalized seizures are caused by abnormal electrical activity in the brain. A seizure is characterized by a sudden loss of consciousness, muscle control, and sensation. Symptoms of a seizure can range from a slight twitching in muscles to shaking of limbs to total loss of consciousness. Seizures caused by a brain tumor are qualified by convulsions, periodic absence of consciousness, clonic seizures, and loss of elastic tension of living muscle.
- Nausea and Vomiting - Nausea and vomiting are more indicative of a brain tumor if they are accompanied by some of the other symptoms as well.
- Optic and Aural problem - Although reported by only 25% of the patients, any deterioration in sight and hearing must be reported to the doctor. Most of the times, it is the ophthalmologist who diagnoses a brain tumor, as he or she is in the best position to visibly see any increase in intracranial pressure while checking your eyes.
- Weak muscles - Any signs of strange feelings in the head, an altered gait, dropping objects, falling, or asymmetrical facial expressions indicate weakened muscles of the arms, legs, and face.
- Behavior and Cognition - Problems with mental focus, recent memory, finding the right words for expressing your thoughts, and increased impatience and intolerance can point towards a brain tumor. These symptoms can sometimes lead to inappropriate behaviors.
A brain tumor can press or violate brain tissue and damage areas in the brain that are responsible for various functions. The pressure from the tumor can also cause swelling from excessive accumulation of serous fluid (edema) in the surrounding brain tissue.
A brain tumor is a serious disease and should be attended to as early as possible. Sometimes a short delay can lead to serious damage. While some herbs and vitamins that promote mental focus can treat some symptoms like lack of concentration, a brain tumor itself requires complicated invasive treatments.