Symptoms of Brain Tumors

The symptoms of brain tumors depend on a number of factors, including size, location and growth rate. Symptoms may be caused by damage to vital tissue or by pressure on the brain as the tumor grows within the limited space in the skull They also may be caused by swelling and a buildup of fluid around the tumor, a condition called edema. Symptoms may also be due to hydrocephalus, which occurs when the tumor blocks the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and causes it to build up in the ventricles. If a brain tumor grows very slowly, its symptoms may appear so gradually that they are overlooked for a long time. In addition, brain tumor symptoms are often quite vague and non-specific.

The most frequent symptoms and signs of brain tumors include:

  • Headaches that tend to be worse in the morning and ease during the day,
  • Confusion or personality changes,
  • Seizures (convulsions),
  • Nausea or vomiting,
  • Weakness or loss of feeling in the arms or legs,
  • Stumbling or lack of coordination in walking (ataxic gait),
  • Abnormal eye movements or changes in vision,
  • Drowsiness, and
  • Changes in speech