Brain cancer symptoms are extremely diverse depending on the type of cancer, its source (from a cancer elsewhere in the body or arising within the brain itself), its location in the brain, and its size.
A brain tumor may not always be cancerous. It may simply be a benign mass of cells. However, the physical effects of this extra mass in the brain are often just as detrimental to health.
In the majority of cases brain tumors are secondary cancers from another region in the body. The most common primary brain cancer is a glioma. A cancer of the glial cell types in the brain.
The common early brain tumor symptoms are headache, nausea, vomiting and change in personality.
Brain cancer symptoms:
- persistent worsening headache
- change in personality
- mood swings
- inability to concentrate
- loss of coordination
- loss of balance
- degree of paralysis in arm, leg, or region of body
- loss of language skills
- sudden deficits in sensory capabilities (hearing, smell, etc.)
- change in resting pulse or breathing rate
Brain cancer diagnosis is slightly more complex feat than most other diagnoses.
The simplest examination would be a brain function test by physical exam. However, x-ray, MRI and CT imaging, spinal tap and biopsy are typical diagnosis confirmation options.
Treatment options are varied and complex depending on cancer size, location and type. Surgical removal of the cancer is ideal but not always possible.
Chemotherapy and radiation can also be used in combination with surgery to ensure best effectiveness of treatment.
For many brain cancer patients improvement of remaining quality of life should be the main focus rather than outright treatment.
Alleviation of brain cancer symptoms often involves reducing intracranial pressure caused by the tumor mass. Pain management is key.