Experiences withBrain tumours
Symptoms of a brain tumour
The symptoms of a brain tumour vary depending on the exact part of the brain affected.
Common symptoms include:
- seizures (fits)
- persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness
- mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality
- progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
- vision or speech problems
Sometimes you may not have any symptoms to begin with, or they may develop very slowly over time.
Causes and risks
The cause of most brain tumours is unknown, but there are several risk factors that may increase your chances of developing a brain tumour.
Risk factors include:
- age – the risk of getting a brain tumour increases with age (most brain tumours happen in older adults aged 85 to 89), although some types of brain tumour are more common in children
- radiation – exposure to radiation accounts for a very small number of brain tumours; some types of brain tumours are more common in people who have had radiotherapy, CT scans or X-rays of the head
- family history and genetic conditions – some genetic conditions are known to increase the risk of getting a brain tumour, including tuberous sclerosis, neurofibromatosis type 1, neurofibromatosis type 2 and Turner syndrome
Treating brain tumours
If you have a brain tumour, your treatment will depend on:
- the type of tumour
- where it is in your brain
- how big it is and how far it's spread
- how abnormal the cells are
- your overall health and fitness
Treatments for brain tumours include:
After being diagnosed with a brain tumour, steroids may be prescribed to help reduce swelling around the tumour.
Other medicines can be used to help with other symptoms of brain tumours, such as anti-epileptic medicines for seizures and painkillers for headaches.
Surgery is often used to remove brain tumours. The aim is to remove as much abnormal tissue as safely as possible.
It's not always possible to remove all of a tumour, so further treatment with radiotherapy or chemotherapy may be needed to treat any abnormal cells left behind.
Treatment for non-cancerous tumours is often successful and a full recovery is possible.
Sometimes there's a small chance the tumour could return, so you may need regular follow-up appointments to monitor this.
Symptoms of a brain tumour include a headache, seizures (fits), memory problems and changes in your personality.
Treatments for brain tumours include medicines, surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
The cause of most brain tumours is unknown. Things that increase your risk of a tumour include getting older or being exposed to radiation.
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