Brain Tumour Warning Signs, Types, Symptoms
Brain Tumour is a condition that happens due to abnormal growth of a cluster of cells that can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (non-cancerous). Some of the cancerous tumours, known as Primary tumour, develop directly in the brain, and those which start to spread from other parts of the body and reach the brain, are known as Secondary tumours.
Symptoms of a brain tumour differ depending on the size, type, stage and location, reflecting both physical and mental condition of the patient. Neurosurgeons at AMRI Hospital suggest consulting a doctor as soon as you notice any symptoms of a tumour, as early diagnosis can minimize the overall impact on your body and life.
There are significant signs and symptoms of brain tumour, depending on the type and risk factors associated with it.
Signs and Symptoms of Brain Tumour
- Seizures are sometimes the first sign of a brain tumour or other forms of neurological disorder. Each individual may experience different types of seizures, including motor seizures, myoclonic, or Tonic-Clonic. Single or multiple twitches, spasms, jerks, or other such involuntary movements in a person’s muscles can be early indications of seizures.
- In case of a tumour in the cerebrum of the brain, a person’s body signals in ways such as changes in speech, memory, hearing, understanding or retrieving words. Brain tumours may also affect the emotional state of a person.
- Brain tumours may also cause a state of constant fatigue, where one feels overall weakness and heaviness in the limbs. A person loses the ability to focus and sleep and shows signs of continuous irritability. However, these could also be the signs of other conditions like autoimmune or neurological diseases.
- In 50% of brain tumour cases, people suffer from terrible headaches that put pressure on sensitive nerves and blood vessels. One may feel persistent pain, especially during the morning, which gets worse if someone practices physical activity, cough or change physical position. The sign is often misunderstood with the symptom of stroke and concussion.
- Other signs of Brain Tumour include, a sudden change in sensation, smell, vision or hearing, loss of partial or total consciousness, feeling of nausea or vomiting, sleep disorder, or loss of balance affecting the ability to walk. Some people suffer from facial numbness, difficulty in swallowing, or pituitary disorders.
Types of Brain Tumour
Brain tumours are widely classified into 150 types, which have been documented into two main groups, Primary and Metastatic.
Primary brain tumours get recognition from the type of cells involved that includes;
- Gliomas- These tumours develop in the glial cells, which are responsible for keeping nerves healthy. Gliomas, which often turn into cancerous cells, are based on specific cells mostly found in adults, such as Astrocytomas, that they target.
- Meningiomas – Usually forms in the meninges, a thin layer of tissue covering the brain and the spinal cord. These tumours are not cancerous but can cause various issues by creating pressure on the brain.
- Schwannomas – Another form of tumour that directly damages the protective coating of nerve cells. While these are not cancerous, they can lead to loss of hearing, consciousness, and motor functions like movements and balance of a person.
- Pituitary Adenomas- These tumours grow on the Pituitary Gland, affecting the base of the brain. The gland is responsible for secretion of hormones and development of tumours affects the overall growth and health of a person.
Metastatic Brain Tumours
Metastatic, or Secondary Brain Tumours, are known to grow elsewhere in the body and then expand to the brain. People who have a history of a specific cancer are at higher risk of developing these tumours. These conditions are more evident in adults and far more common than primary brain tumours, which include the state of melanoma, besides cancer in the lung, kidney, colon and breast.