What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Brain Cancer?


General symptoms of brain cancer include headaches, seizures, memory or personality changes and fatigue, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Vomiting and nausea are additional symptoms. Other more tumor-specific symptoms may also occur when the tumor causes a specific part of the brain to function abnormally.

Seizures that occur as a symptom of brain cancer can be myoclonic or tonic-clonic. Myclonic seizures can cause singular or multiple spasms, jerks or twitches, while tonic-clonic or grand mal seizures cause loss of control of body functions, loss of body tone, loss of consciousness and possibly periods of no breathing, notes the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Sensory seizures may also cause changes in vision, smell, hearing or sensation.

Tumor-specific symptoms occur when the tumor causes a particular area of the brain to malfunction. For example, headache or pressure occurs near the location of the tumor, or tumors situated in the cerebellum may cause the affected person to experience difficulty with fine motor skills or loss of balance. Pituitary tumors may cause growth in the feet or hands, altered menstrual cycles or breast milk secretion. Tumors located in the brain stem may cause double vision, numbness or weakness in the facial region, or difficulty swallowing, warns the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

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