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5 Little-Known Signs of a Brain Tumor

5 Little-Known Signs of a Brain Tumor

According to the National Cancer Institute, a tumor is described as “an abnormal mass of tissue that results when cells divide more than they should or do not die when they should.” A brain tumor forms within the brain tissue or migrates to the brain tissue from another location (metastasizes).

Normal cells are created, grow, divide, die, and are replaced by new cells that form in response to an organ or system’s specific need. Some cells, though, don’t wait for a signal but continually grow and divide, collecting into a tumorous mass. The signs and symptoms of the mass depends on where it’s located and which other structures it affects. When a tumor presses on an area of the brain, the signs appear in the region of the body that brain location controls.

At Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas, board-certified, multi-fellowship-trained neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Glickman has extensive experience with brain tumors. As many people aren’t familiar with the signs of a brain tumor, he’s put together this guide so you’ll know when to seek medical help.

5 little known signs of a brain tumor

Many signs of a brain tumor are common: headaches, vision changes, and seizures all indicate the probability you have a mass pressing on your brain. However, there are five little known signs you should be aware of that might be cause for concern:

1. Memory loss and confusion

Memory problems and confusion may be related to a brain tumor, but they also can be caused by fatigue; vascular issues, including heart attack, stroke, and vascular dementia; vitamin deficiencies; mental health conditions; or even side effects from common medications. That’s why, if you’re experiencing these effects, you should seek out a diagnosis as soon as possible so you can get the appropriate treatment.

2. Fatigue

Fatigue is more than just being a little tired. Instead, you’re completely exhausted all the time, you feel weak, you drift off to sleep during the day, you can’t focus, and you become irritable. Fatigue has many more obvious causes than a brain tumor, but a tumor can generate fatigue. Again, it’s important to get an accurate diagnosis.

3. Depression

Depression, a feeling of sadness out of proportion to the situation, and often accompanied by lack of energy, difficulty sleeping, thoughts of self-harm, and feelings of hopelessness, is a common mental health condition. It’s also much more likely to develop due to unbalanced brain chemistry than a brain tumor. However, since a tumor can also provoke depression, you need to get it checked out.

4. Nausea and vomiting

Nausea and vomiting may occur in the early stages of a tumor’s development because it’s causing a hormone imbalance or increased pressure in the brain.

However, gastric distress can occur for a variety of other, more common reasons, such as food poisoning, influenza, or pregnancy.

One telltale sign of a tumor-caused bout you should be aware of is that vomiting due to a tumor is usually severe and often projectile in nature. That’s completely different from the presentation for the other possible causes.

5. Weakness and numbness

Weakness and numbness in the extremities could be a sign of a brain tumor, if it’s pressing on brain areas that control those extremities, but there are a number of other causes that are more probable.

One of these is sciatica, a condition where the sciatic nerve root in the lower back becomes compressed. As a result, you experience tingling, numbness, and weakness from your lower back, through your buttocks, and down the outside of one leg.

Stroke, too, can lead to muscle weakness and numbness on just one side of the body.

If you’re experiencing any of these five signs, it may be a brain tumor, but it may not be. The only way to tell for sure is by coming into Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas for a consultation with Dr. Glickman.

To schedule, call our office at 702-929-8242, text us at 725-210-0057, or book your appointment online.

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