Symptoms of Brain Tumour
The most common symptoms of brain tumours that people first go to the doctor with are headaches and fits (seizures). But do remember that brain tumours are rare and there are much more common reasons for both these symptoms. So if you have either of these, do go to the doctor as soon as possible. But remember that there is most likely another cause of the symptoms.
It is important to remember that headaches and sickness are very common symptoms of illness. A brain tumour is not a very likely cause if these are the only symptoms you have. But you should go to your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms
- You are getting very bad headaches (especially if you wake each day with a headache)
- You have started getting headaches but did not have them in the past
- You are getting headaches more and more often
- You are getting headaches and sickness together
About 1 in 3 people with a brain tumour first go to their doctor with headaches. A headache caused by a brain tumour tends to be quite bad. But in some people they can be mild at first. The headaches may last for a long time. Some people wake up each day with severe headaches that may slowly get better during the day. But anything that increases the pressure in your head can make the headache worse again, such as bending over, coughing and sneezing, exercising or even shouting.
With a brain tumour, feeling sick (nausea) may also be worse in the morning. You may actually be sick. You may also have hiccoughs (hiccups).
Drowsiness is usually a later symptom of a brain tumour. As the tumour grows and the pressure inside the head increases you may sleep more than usual. Or you may find yourself falling asleep during the day. If this is not treated, you could eventually become more difficult to wake and then become unconscious.
Raised intracranial pressure can also cause problems with your eyes and fits (seizures).
Problems with your eyes
If you are having problems with your eyes you should see your doctor. This is particularly important if your sight seems to be failing and glasses are not helping. Other problems include blurred vision, floating shapes, tunnel vision, or a loss of vision that comes and goes. Sometimes opticians pick up these problems. It is possible to detect raised intracranial pressure during an eye examination.
Fits are one of the most common symptoms of brain tumours. A fit can just be jerking or twitching of a hand, arm or leg. Or a fit may affect the whole body. Some fits just cause a moment of unconsciousness. Fits can often be controlled with anti epilepsy medicines. And if your brain tumour is successfully treated, the fits may stop completely. In some cases, fits continue even after successful treatment because of scar tissue left in the brain. You may then need to carry on taking anti seizure medicines (anti epileptic drugs).