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World Brain Tumour Day 2024: 5 signs of a brain tumour that might surprise you

Learn 5 surprising signs of a brain tumor you might ignore. Early detection is crucial! Recognise these symptoms and empower your health on World Brain Tumour Day.

Written By: Rahul Pratyush @29_pratyush New Delhi Published on: June 08, 2024 13:13 IST
World Brain Tumour Day
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World Brain Tumour Day, observed annually on June 8th, raises awareness about brain tumours and supports those affected by this serious condition. As we commemorate World Brain Tumour Day 2024, it's crucial to educate ourselves on the subtle and surprising symptoms of brain tumours. Recognizing these early signs can lead to timely diagnosis and treatment, improving outcomes and potentially saving lives.

What is Brain Tumour?

A brain tumour is an abnormal growth of cells located in or near the brain. These tumours can develop within the brain tissue itself or in adjacent areas such as the nerves, the pituitary gland, the pineal gland, and the membranes that cover the brain's surface. Tumours originating directly in the brain are known as primary brain tumours. Conversely, when cancer spreads to the brain from another part of the body, the resulting tumours are referred to as secondary or metastatic brain tumours.

When discussing the various types of brain tumours, Dr. G. V. Subbaiah Chowdhary, a Senior Consultant Neurologist and Clinical Director at Yashoda Hospitals Hyderabad, provided insights. “Different types of primary brain tumours exist. These are cancerous, non-cancerous or benign brain tumours. Noncancerous brain tumours may grow over time and press on the brain tissue. Other brain tumours are brain cancers, also called malignant brain tumours may grow quickly. The cancer cells can invade and destroy the brain tissue,” he said.

Types of brain tumours:

Researchers have identified more than 150 different brain tumours and some of them are: 

  • Gliomas and related brain tumours 
  • Choroid plexus tumors 
  • Embryonal tumours 
  • Germ cell tumours 
  • Pineal tumours 
  • Meningiomas 
  • Nerve tumours like acoustic neuroma, also called a schwannoma 
  • Pituitary tumours 

Brain tumour signs and symptoms:

The signs and symptoms of a brain tumour depend on the brain tumour's size and location. Symptoms also might depend on how fast the brain tumour is growing, which is also called the tumour grade.

Some of the common signs and symptoms

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty thinking, speaking, or finding words
  • Changes in personality or behaviour
  • Weakness, numbness, or loss of movement in one part or one side of the body
  • Difficulty with balance or dizziness
  • Sensory changes like difficulty hearing, difficulty seeing, or loss of smell
  • Memory loss

Brain tumours that aren't cancerous tend to cause symptoms that develop slowly. Noncancerous brain tumours also are called benign brain tumours. They might cause subtle symptoms that you don't notice at first. The symptoms might get worse over months or years. 

Brain tumour headaches:

Headaches are the most common symptom of brain tumours. Headaches can happen if a growing brain tumour presses on healthy cells around it or if swelling in the brain increases pressure in the head and causes headaches.

Headache can happen at any time and is often worse when you wake up in the morning. Brain tumour headaches can cause pain on coughing or straining. People with brain tumours most often report that the headache feels like a tension headache or like a migraine.

Brain tumours in different parts of the cerebrum might cause different symptoms.

Brain tumours in the front of the brain: The frontal lobes are in the front of the brain. They control thinking and movement. Frontal lobe brain tumours might cause balance problems and trouble walking. Personality changes, such as forgetfulness and lack of interest in usual activities can happen.

Brain tumours in the middle of the brain: They help process information about touch, taste, smell, vision and hearing. Parietal lobe brain tumours can cause problems related to the senses. Examples include vision problems and hearing problems.

Brain tumours in the back of the brain: The occipital lobes are in the back of the brain. They control vision. Occipital lobe brain tumours can cause vision loss.

Brain tumours in the lower part of the brain: The temporal lobes are on the sides of the brain. They process memories and senses. Temporal lobe brain tumours can cause memory problems. 

How are brain tumours diagnosed?

Neurological exam, which involves changes in:

  • Balance and coordination.
  • Mental status.
  • Hearing.
  • Vision.
  • Reflexes.

Several tests to diagnose a brain tumour, including: 

  • Specialised tests like tumour markers

Brain tumour treatment depends on several factors, including:

  • The tumour’s location, size and type.
  • The number of tumours
  • Your age
  • Your overall health

Treating a brain tumour often includes a combination of therapies and treatment options might include: 

  • Brain surgery 
  • Radiation therapy
  • Radiosurgery
  • chemotherapy
  • immunotherapy
  • Targeted therapy


Prevention of brain tumours:

There's no way to prevent brain tumours. People with an increased risk of brain tumours might consider screening tests. Screening doesn't help in brain tumour prevention. But screening might help to find a brain tumour when it's small and treatment is more likely to be successful.

If family has a history of a brain tumour or inherited syndromes that increase the risk of brain tumour, might consider brain tumour screening tests. Testing includes an imaging test or a neurological exam to test vision, hearing, balance, coordination and reflexes. 

ALSO READ: World Brain Tumour Day 2024: Know everything about the growth of abnormal cells


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