A person is said to have brain tumour when there is an abnormal growth of cells in the brain. There are mainly two types of tumours. Tumours that begin to grow in the brain are said to be primary. However, sometimes the tumour has spread from a cancerous part of the body to the brain. This is called a secondary or metastatic tumour. Primary tumour s can either be benign (non-cancerous) or cancerous while secondary tumours are always malignant (cancerous). Read on to know more about the early symptoms of brain tumour.
Causes of a brain tumour
- Researchers have not yet figured out the main tumour -causing factor. However, it has been observed that men have a high chance of acquiring this disease.
- Another factor that increases the risk is age but this cannot be fully relied upon. Although tumours in the brain are usually detected in people above the age of 70 years, several incidences in young children have also been reported.
- Along with age and gender, heredity is also another causative factor. Even certain environmental factors like exposure to harmful chemicals, like vinyl chloride, formaldehyde and acrylonitrile can lead to this condition.
Initial warning signs of a brain tumour
As brain tumour can be a life-threatening disease, it is extremely important to diagnose it as early as possible. However, the early signs are difficult to detect, as they are very common and associated with other diseases as well. Still, it is important that every person should be aware of the symptoms of the early stages. The indicants experienced would depend upon the size and location of the tumour. When the tumour in the brain expands, it exerts a lot of pressure on the skull, which in turn results in some of the below-mentioned symptoms.
- Headache is considered to be one of the most common symptoms of this disease. Most of the people, diagnosed with this disease, have experienced an excruciating and chronic pain in their head. However, as headache occurs very commonly in our daily life, many times it is diagnosed as a symptom of migraine or sinusitis. If one experiences a headache very frequently, especially while lying or bending down, then it could be probably because of brain tumour. Along with headache, it is also usual for a person to have nausea and vomiting.
- Another common early symptom is seizure, which is usually caused due to high fever, trauma, epilepsy, stroke, etc. A person having a tumour in the brain may have seizures, and he/she may lose consciousness, experience muscle twitching, or mild to severe limb shaking.
- The person also experiences vision and hearing problems. He/she may have a blurred vision due to the pressure of the skull on the eyes. It has been observed that most of the tumour cases are diagnosed by eye specialists, because they may be able to see the effects of the intracranial pressure on the eyes during a check-up.
- Certain behavioural and cognitive changes may also be observed in the patients. The family members and friends of the affected person may observe that he/she is not able to concentrate on work, has speech problems, suffers from memory loss, or is asleep all the time causing problems at work as well as home. Certain behavioural changes, like very less patience or tolerance towards others and also less inhibition to do things that they have never done earlier may also be observed.
- Other signs include feeling of weakness in the legs, arms, and face muscles. One may also experience problems in balancing and coordinating certain moments, which in certain cases may even lead to paralysis.
Diagnosis and treatment of a brain tumour
- A person experiencing any of these problems needs to visit a general physician for a check-up. As these symptoms are common, there are chances that they can be misdiagnosed.
- However, if one feels that these are the early signs, then one should talk about it very clearly to a physician. The only way of diagnosing a tumour is through a MRI or CT scan.
- Once it is determined that the person has tumour, then the method of treatment would depend upon the location of the tumour and also on the severity of the patient's condition. However, the main method of treatment is surgery.
Many times people do not experience any indicants of tumour or they might just ignore them as something of less importance. However, if one ever experiences any of these symptoms, it is extremely crucial to consult a general physician to prevent the condition from becoming worse.