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When brain tumors are very small, some people may not experience any symptoms or the symptoms are so minimal they don’t notice them.
As brain tumors grow, signs and symptoms can vary and largely depend on the tumor’s location within the brain, its size, and how quickly it grows.
Some of the more common signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors include the following:
Other possible signs and symptoms can include abnormal eye movements, trouble swallowing, trouble walking, weakness or drooping of one side of the face, loss of appetite or weight loss, and slurred speech.
If you are experiencing any new, persistent, or concerning symptoms or you suspect you may have a brain tumor, please talk to your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
If you suddenly experience any of the following symptoms, please call 911:
While seizures may not require emergency medical attention, call 911 if one or more of the below are true:
Some people with brain tumors experience general symptoms like headaches, seizures, and fatigue. Other symptoms can be more specific to the location of the tumor in the brain.
Brain tumors can damage healthy tissue, press on healthy brain tissue, or cause pressure in the brain and negatively impact certain functions.
If you are diagnosed with a brain tumor, ask your provider where it is located in the brain to better prepare for possible symptoms and safety concerns.
The cerebrum is the uppermost and largest part of the brain. It processes sensation, generates thought, and controls conscious activity. The cerebrum has two sides — the right and the left hemispheres that each control the opposite side of the body — and each side is divided into four lobes with specific functions: the frontal lobe, the parietal lobe, the temporal lobe, and the occipital lobe.
The frontal lobe is the part of the cerebrum that is located in the front of the brain. It is responsible for higher executive functions like regulating emotions, planning, reasoning, and problem-solving.
Symptoms of a tumor in the frontal lobe can include:
The parietal lobe is the part of the cerebrum that is located behind the frontal lobe. It is responsible for processing and interpreting sensory information like touch, temperature, pressure, and pain. It is also involved in telling the right from the left, navigation, language, and reading.
Symptoms of a tumor in the parietal lobe can include:
The temporal lobe is part of the cerebrum that is located on the side of the brain near the ears. It is responsible for hearing and understanding what we’re hearing, visual processing like recognizing people’s faces, and memory.
Symptoms of a tumor in the temporal lobe can include:
The occipital lobe is part of the cerebrum that is located at the back of the brain. It is responsible for sight and activities like reading and recognizing colors.
Symptoms of a tumor in the occipital lobe can include:
There are five additional areas that can be affected by the location of the tumor.
The cerebellum is located at the back part of the brain near the bottom of the head. It is mainly responsible for balance, coordination, movement, and fine motor skills.
Symptoms of a tumor in the cerebellum can include:
The brain stem is the part of the brain that connects to the spinal cord and the cerebellum. It controls involuntary and essential functions such as breathing and the beating of the heart.
Symptoms of a tumor in the brain stem can include:
The spinal cord is a long column of nerve tissue that begins at the end of the brain stem and down the center of the spine. It allows for movement, feeling sensation, and control of different functions in the body.
Tumors in the spinal cord can impact the nerves, blood vessels, and bones of the spine. Symptoms can include:
The meninges are three layers of tissue that surround and protect the brain and the spinal cord. The meninges provide a support system and protect the nervous system from injury.
Symptoms of a tumor of the meninges can include:
While not technically part of the brain, the pituitary gland is located at the base of the brain. It secretes hormones and helps regulate many processes in the body like growth, metabolism, and reproduction.
Tumors in the pituitary gland can cause symptoms that include: