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Childhood Brain Tumor Symptoms

Childhood brain tumors frequently cause changes in hearing, memory, learning, sight, smell or emotion. Because adults or the child may notice these changes early in the development of a tumor, childhood brain tumors often are diagnosed before they have spread.

Symptoms of childhood brain tumors depend on their location in the brain. The exact symptoms change from child to child. Some signs of a possible brain tumor include:

  • Frequent nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Headache, usually in the morning
  • Later than normal growth and development milestones, such as walking or talking
  • Blurred vision
  • Problems speaking or swallowing
  • Mood or behavior changes
  • Coordination and balance problems
  • Weakness or tingling in the arms or legs
  • Swelling around an eye
  • Weakness of facial muscles
  • Problems swallowing
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Abnormal tilting of head to one side
  • Increase in head size (in babies)
  • Pain in the back, arms or legs
  • Changes in bowel or urinary habits

These symptoms do not always mean your child has a brain tumor. In fact, they usually are caused by something less serious. However, it is important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor, since they may signal other health problems.

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