What are the symptoms of nervous system/brain cancers?

People that have developed a brain tumor may experience general or specific symptoms. A general symptom is the consequence of the increased intracranial pressure due to the mechanical push of the tumor on the brain or the spinal cord tissue. Specific symptoms are those caused when a specific part of the brain isn’t functioning well because of the tumor.

For people who have developed a brain tumor, the following general signs or symptoms may occur:

  • Headache: which can be severe or gradually get worse with main episodes occurring in the mornings
  • Seizures: sudden involuntary movements
  • Memory changes
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Fatigue

For certain people, the following signs of symptoms may occur which may be specific to the location of the tumor:

  • Pressure or headache
  • Loss of stability and balance (linked to a tumor in the cerebellum)
  • Difficulty with fine motor skills (due to a tumor in the cerebellum)
  • Changes in judgment, loss of initiative, sluggishness and muscle weakness (caused by a tumor in the frontal lobe of the cerebrum)
  • Partial or complete loss of vision (due to a tumor in the occipital or the temporal lobe of the cerebrum)
  • Changes in speech, hearing, memory, or emotional state (due to a tumor in the frontal or temporal lobe of the cerebrum).
  • Difficulty swallowing, facial weakness, or numbness (as a result of a tumor in the brain stem)
  • Inability to look upward (due a tumor in the pineal gland)
  • Vision changes (attributed to a tumor in the frontal lobe, occipital lobe, or brain stem).

The brain and the central nervous system are responsible for controlling other organs, including those responsible for hormone production. Thus, brain tumors can cause other symptoms not listed here.

If you experience any of these symptoms, and/or changes consult your physician, who will then assess the reasons behind these changes. Together both of you can come up with a course of action to reduce the symptoms and treat the tumor.

 

Sources:

http://www.cancer.org/cancer/braincnstumorsinadults/detailedguide/brain-and-spinal-cord-tumors-in-adults-signs-and-symptoms

http://www.cancer.net/cancer-types/brain-tumor/symptoms-and-signs

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