Brain tumors and their symptoms are afflicting more people every year. Since most brain tumors exhibit indicators like seemingly innocent headaches that are generally caused by less severe disorders, they're often discounted or brushed aside as insignificant. Consequently, an accurate diagnosis isn't attained until the tumor grows to a size that may make successful treatment impossible.
If detected early, many brain tumors can be treated and possibly cured. New treatments, such as immunotherapy, chemotherapy, gene treatment therapy and radioactive treatments, are being used more often as they develop and become increasingly effective.
Therefore, doctors and patients alike are being recommended to become alert to brain tumor symptoms and follow up with a proper medical examination when these signs occur. Though brain scans are expensive, they're safe, easy to obtain and may save your life if they detect a tumor early enough that it can be cured. For an overview of symptoms associated with brain tumors and why it's so important to watch out for them, keep reading.
Symptoms of Brain Tumors
If a brain tumor is still small and fairly young, it can often be treated. However, most symptoms depend on the size of the tumor and where it's found in the brain. For example, a benign tumor may take years to grow and even longer to cause an identifiable sign.
Among the primary precursors are persistent or relentless headaches, particularly those that happen at night or upon awakening. With children, headaches that occur in conjunction with nausea or vomiting can be a harbinger of trouble.
Additional common symptoms include personality changes; vision or speech problems; behavioral issues; tiredness, numbness or paralysis or trouble walking or balancing; seizures that are similar to epileptic seizures, and sensory problems, like hearing or smelling something that's not there.
Too often, symptoms such as changes in behavior are ascribed to a mental disorder or to the aging process and are not addressed until it's too late to cure.
Why You Should Be Aware of Possible Indicators
Brain tumors are on the rise, being the second most common type of cancer in young children and occurring as often as ovarian cancer in adult women. Roughly half of primary brain tumors are diagnosed as benign. This means they grow and spread slowly and can typically be cured or removed. The other half are diagnosed as malignant - they are fast-growing and intrusive. Many of these can be treated, but are not always curable.
Where to Get Additional Facts
If you would like more information on brain tumor symptoms, try contacting the American Brain Tumor Association. Their website can be found online at abta.org. Click through to research more information on brain tumors, diagnosing tumors, developing treatments and where patients can go for support.
In the meantime, if you or a loved one spots any of the identifying signs of a possible tumor, do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with a specialist in the field. A timely diagnosis can potentially spell the difference between ongoing health or a life cut short by cancer.