While recurring headaches can be a symptom of brain tumour, it is only about 50% of patients who do have brain tumours complain of a headache. Therefore, headaches are not a conclusive symptom of a tumour, and there are higher chances that they may be caused by a very different reason.
Depending upon the type and location of the tumour, its symptoms tend to vary greatly. These symptoms arise owing to two reasons- one the tumour grows within the skull, exercising pressure over the brain as it develops. Secondly, since different parts of the brain control different functions, a tumour may display varied symptoms, depending on its location.
Since the skull is only adequately sized to cover the brain, any growth in this part increases pressure, known as raised intracranial pressure. This may cause headaches, sickness, and seizures. However, it is important to note that headaches and sickness are common indicators associated with various other mild illnesses- headaches are therefore not considered to be a conclusive symptom of a tumour.
Identifying Headaches Associated with Brain Tumour
Headaches associated with brain tumours tend to differ from those caused by other reasons. Look out for these indications:
- Recurring, non-migraine headaches
- Recurring nausea and vomiting
- Possible throbbing in a specific area of the head
- Pain that intensifies with coughing or any bodily movement
- Non-responsive to usual headache medication
Besides these, the presence of a tumour in the brain may affect other functions of the body. Look out for these signs:
Often experienced in the early morning hours, these headaches are known to be severe, and tend to worsen with movement and activity. Neurologists
opine that it may usually take several months or even years for the lesion in the brain to develop to a size sufficient enough to produce symptoms. In some cases, their discovery is purely accidental, during routine screening for migraines or following a minor head trauma
A positive statistic states that among the large number of people who suffer from recurring headaches, a very small percentage are diagnosed with any serious disease. However, any of the symptoms mentioned here warrant immediate attention from a neurologist.