Brain Tumours: The Signs and Symptoms

Brain tumours are regarded as one of the less common cancers, representing just 1.8% of all cancers, yet they often feature at the worse end of statistical measures such as mortality, years of life lost (YLL) and caregiver burden. Whilst not all brain tumours are cancerous, benign tumours can result in similar symptoms. The road to better outcomes for brain tumour patients is signposted by more funding, more research, and ultimately more effective treatments, but it starts with increased awareness and education. The International Brain Tumour Awareness Week (22-29 October 2016) provides an opportunity for people from around the world to organise or participate in an awareness raising activity for brain tumours.

What causes brain cancer?

Many different types of brain tumours and brain cancers exist, which means that the cause for each is very different and sometimes is not known. This is why we need to invest in research. For the vast majority of people with a brain tumour, no outside cause can be clearly identified. Most astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas occur when there is damage (a mutation) in genes that control how a cell grows and multiplies. The cells with the gene mutation develop into the tumour, but the abnormality cannot be inherited by the person’s children.

What are the symptoms of a brain tumour?

The symptoms of a brain tumour vary widely and depend on what part of the brain the tumour is pressing on. Symptoms may be associated with the type, size, and/or location of the tumour. Symptoms may also be caused by the treatments used to manage it. Surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and other treatments all have the potential to generate new symptoms as they work to reduce the impact of the tumour.

Common symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Sensory (touch) and motor (movement control) loss
  • Deep venous thrombosis (dvt, or blood clot)
  • Hearing loss
  • Vision loss
  • Fatigue
  • Depression
  • Behavioural and cognitive (thinking) changes
  • Endocrine dysfunction (hormone/gland changes).    
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Difficulty in speaking, or thinking of words (dysphasia)
  • Disturbed vision, hearing, smell or taste
  • Weakness or paralysis in part of the body
  • General irritability, drowsiness or a change in personality
  • Flashbacks
  • Loss of memory

These symptoms may be caused by other conditions; however, they are warning signs. Each may mean a tumour (either malignant or benign) and should be checked by your doctor.

More Information

More information about brain tumour symptoms and diagnosis can be found here from the Brain Foundation in Australia or here from.

To find out more about Brain Tumour Awareness Week click here.  

Further Questions?

If you have further questions, we recommend speaking to a healthcare professional. 

Sourced from Cure Brain Cancer in Health Facts
25 Oct 2016

Sourced from
Cure Brain Cancer

25 Oct 2016
Health Facts

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