Top 4 Warning Signs Of Brain Tumour

by Dr Amit Jotwani

Brain tumours refer to tumours that are located in the brain. Tumours that originate in the brain are called primary brain tumours while cancers that begin in other body parts and spread to the brain are known as metastatic or secondary brain tumours.

According to the World Health Organization’s International Association of Cancer Registries (IARC), 28,142 new cases of brain tumour are reported in India every year.

First Signs of brain tumour depend on its location

Signs and symptoms of brain tumour depend on the location of the tumour. The brain has two hemispheres of the cerebrum – the largest part of the brain, and the cerebellum that is located at the back of the brain. The cerebrum has four lobes called frontal, parietal, occipital and temporal lobes.

The frontal lobe controls emotions, memory, mood, behaviour, reasoning, language production and motor functions such as coordination of movement. The parietal lobe regulates reading, writing, sensations and ability to distinguish right from left. Language comprehension, memory and hearing are controlled by the temporal lobe while the occipital lobe regulates vision. Apart from these, brain tumours can also grow in the spinal cord, pituitary gland, membranes around the brain or the brain stem.

Top four warning signs of brain tumour

Four of the most common brain tumour symptoms include:

  1. Seizures: One of the most common symptoms of a brain tumour is seizures that can be of many types.

  • Myoclonic seizures involve a single or multiple muscle spasms, jerks or twitches.

  • Tonic-clonic or grand mal seizures affect the whole body and results in loss of consciousness, contractions of muscles, bladder control, and a short no-breathing period. The seizure could be followed by a headache, sleepiness, confusion, numbness and weakness.

  1. Headaches: According to the American Brain Tumor Association, about 50 percent of people diagnosed with a brain tumour experience headaches. While the headaches are described as persistent, they may be accompanied by the following features:

  • Steady pain that is not like a migraine headache

  • Pain is worse on waking up, improving over the day

  • Vomiting

  • Exercise, coughing or changing position could worsen the headache

  • Pain does not subside with over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or crocin

  1. Dizziness and loss of balance: When the tumour is located in the cerebellum, difficulty in movement and loss of balance are experienced. Clumsiness in legs, arms or hands such as fumbling with keys, trouble with grasping things or walking could be signs of a brain tumour.

  2. Behavioral changes: People with brain tumours may have issues with their personality including unexplained mood swings making them irritable, anxious, angry or confused.

Consult a specialist

Having any one or more of these signs by itself does not indicate that you have a brain tumour. Consult a brain tumour specialist if you or your loved one wish to know more about brain cancer signs and treatment options.

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