ZocdocAnswersWhat are the symptoms of a brain tumor?

Question

What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?

What are the symptoms of a brain tumor? I guess I might be overreacting because I'm a pretty healthy guy and I'm still young, but I have had a persistent headache for months, on and off. It's not going away. Sometimes I feel depressed, too. If this is a brain tumor, what else should I expect?

Answer

There are many signs and symptoms one can watch for related to brain tumors. Some of the things to watch for include new onset of seizures in an adult (this is the most common initial presenting symptom for brain tumors in adults), frequent or worsening headache, especially in the morning, changes in your vision, increasing lethargy, or mood or personality changes. There is also a long list of possible causes for daily headaches but this is outside the scope of this discussion. Some risk factors for brain tumors include family history of certain brain tumor types, increased exposure to radiation, amongst a variety of other causes. Many brain tumors form sporadically and it is unknown whether there are any associated risk factors at all in these cases. If the symptoms that you are experiencing continue or worsen, it is advisable that you visit your primary care doctor who will be best able to perform the relevant clinical exam and evaluate your medical history for risk factors associated with brain tumors. If necessary various blood work and imaging tests may be ordered to further evaluate the possible cause for these headaches. These imaging studies will be able to assess whether there is indeed the possibility of a brain tumor as well.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.