Symptoms of a brain tumor can be general or specific. A general symptom is caused by the pressure of the tumor on the brain or spinal cord. Specific symptoms are caused when a specific part of the brain is not working well because of the tumor. For many people with a brain tumor, they were diagnosed when they went to the doctor after experiencing a problem, such as a headache or other changes.
Symptoms that may be specific to the location of the tumor include:
- Pressure or headache near the tumor
- Loss of balance and difficulty with fine motor skills is linked with a tumor in the cerebellum.
- Changes in judgment, including loss of initiative, sluggishness, and muscle weakness or paralysis is associated with a tumor in the frontal lobe of the cerebrum.
- Partial or complete loss of vision is caused by a tumor in the occipital lobe or temporal lobe of the cerebrum.
- Changes in speech, hearing, memory, or emotional state, such as aggressiveness and problems understanding or retrieving words can develop from a tumor in the frontal and temporal lobe of the cerebrum.
- Altered perception of touch or pressure, arm or leg weakness on 1 side of the body, or confusion with left and right sides of the body are linked to a tumor in the frontal or parietal lobe of the cerebrum.
- Inability to look upward can be caused by a pineal gland tumor.
- Lactation, which is the secretion of breast milk and altered menstrual periods in women, and growth in hands and feet in adults are associated with a pituitary tumor.
- Difficulty swallowing, facial weakness or numbness, or double vision is a symptom of a tumor in the brain stem.
- Vision changes, including loss of part of the vision or double vision can be from a tumor in the temporal lobe, occipital lobe, or brain stem.
If you are concerned about any changes you experience, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions.