Symptoms

Brain tumors cause a range of symptoms from feeling uncomfortable to life-altering. Symptoms depend on the tumor location, size and growth rate. They can be related to the location of the tumor on the brain (click here to see the brain anatomy and what symptoms may occur), or related to increased pressure. These symptoms can occur gradually over days to months or they can happen suddenly, such as a seizure.

Symptoms that may occur:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sleepiness or lethargy
  • Loss of balance or dizziness
  • Convulsions
  • Personality or behavior changes
  • Memory loss
  • Sensory changes
  • Changes in sight, speech or hearing
  • Weakness or loss of sensation of arms, legs, hands or feet

These symptoms often lead to the diagnosis of your tumor, but may continue to affect your life after diagnosis. Symptoms can also occur if there is growth or recurrence of the tumor. Any symptom you notice should be taken seriously. If your symptom gets worse or a symptom occurs that you have never had before, you should contact your health care team to discuss.

You and your doctor will review your medical history together and he or she will perform a physical exam.

The physical exam tests may include:

  • Balance and coordination
  • Abstract thinking and memory
  • Eye movement
  • Sensory perception
  • Reflexes
  • Control of facial muscles
  • Head and tongue movement

If the doctor suspects a brain tumor is present, one or more diagnostic tests will be performed.

You Are Not Alone

Hearing from others who have been affected by a brain tumor can help guide you through your journey.

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