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Brain Tumor Symptoms

Brain tumor symptoms depend on the area of the brain affected. Brain tumors can:

  • Invade and destroy brain tissue
  • Put pressure on nearby tissue
  • Take up space and increase pressure within the skull (intracranial pressure)
  • Cause fluids to accumulate in the brain
  • Block normal circulation of cerebrospinal fluid through the spaces within the brain
  • Cause bleeding

Brain tumor symptoms vary from person to person. They may include:

  • Headaches, which are often the first symptom. A headache due to a brain tumor usually becomes more frequent as time passes. It is often worse when you lie down or first awaken.
  • Seizures
  • Changes in mental function, mood or personality. You may become withdrawn, moody or inefficient at work. You may feel drowsy, confused and unable to think. Depression and anxiety, especially if either develops suddenly, may be an early symptom of a brain tumor. You may become uninhibited or behave in ways you never have before.
  • Changes in speech (trouble finding words, talking incoherently, inability to express or understand language)
  • Changes in the ability to hear, smell or see, including double or blurred vision
  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Change in the ability to feel heat, cold, pressure, a light touch or sharp objects
  • Changes in pulse and breathing rates if brain tumor compresses the brain stem

These symptoms do not always mean you have a brain tumor. However, it is important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems.

If you have been diagnosed with a brain tumor, we’re here to help. Call 1-877-632-6789 to make an appointment or request an appointment online.

Why Choose MD Anderson?

  • Innovative brain tumor treatments including proton therapy, GammaKnife radiosurgery, targeted therapies
  • Advanced surgical techniques to avoid damage to critical areas, including awake craniotomy and Brainsuite®
  • Team approach to brain tumor care
  • Specialized neuropathologists for pinpoint brain tumor diagnosis
  • Range of clinical trials of investigative agents for brain tumors

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