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What Does A Brain Tumor Feel Like

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What Does Cancer Pain Actually Feel Like

Brain Tumor Symptoms – Headaches: ABTA’s #TipTuesday

If youre experiencing cancer-related pain, make sure to check with your doctor about treatment options.

If you are suffering from cancer, you may have to deal with a lot of pain. While not everyone with cancer experiences pain, a significant number do. The pain that you feel will be different based on the type of cancer that you have. Sometimes you might have several different forms of pain, making it difficult to explain. Additionally, with cancer pain comes not only the physical discomfort but also emotional pain, as well.

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Read More About Jeannie Gaffigans Story

Ms. Gaffigans case sheds light on the importance of paying attention to persistent symptoms. But not every dizzy spell is cause for concern.

Leslie Schlachter, PA-C, Clinical Director of Neurosurgery at The Mount Sinai Hospital, works closely with Dr. Bederson and was there to greet Ms. Gaffigan and her husband, comedian Jim Gaffigan, when they arrived looking for answers. Drawing on the numerous cases she has seen over the years, she explains which symptoms you should never ignore and why you areprobablyfine.

What specific symptoms may point to a brain tumor?

The brain is complex. It controls everything we do, allowing us to see, smell, and move. Because of this, symptoms of a brain tumor depend on where the tumor is located and what section of the brain it is pressing on. Generally, changes in your sensory, motor, or visual function that linger for more than a few days need to get checked. For example, if you have played tennis every weekend for the past twenty years and one day you cannot hold your racquet that is a problem. Or, if you suddenly cannot see well out of your right eye, that is concerning.

I experienced dizziness for a few days last month. Should I check in with my doctor?
Should I go to the emergency room if I am concerned? Will I seem like a hypochondriac?
What happens if my doctor is concerned about my symptoms? Will I see a neurosurgeon right away?
What should I do if my doctor is not taking my symptoms seriously?

Chemotherapy And Radiation Therapy

You may be given chemotherapy drugs to destroy cancer cells in your brain and to shrink your tumor. Chemotherapy drugs may be given orally or intravenously.

Radiation therapy may be recommended to destroy tumor tissue or cancer cells that cant be surgically removed. This is done with high-energy waves, such as X-rays.

Sometimes, you may need to undergo chemotherapy and radiation therapy at the same time. Chemotherapy may also be done after radiation treatment.

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Headache: Could It Be A Brain Tumor

A bad headache can be scary. Its hard not to think the worst if youre unlucky enough to suffer with severe headaches. If the pain lasts or recurs, you may wonder if you have a serious problem such as a brain tumor.

Heres the reassuring truth: Headache, by itself, is rarely caused by a tumor.

According to a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center, the chance that your headache is a sign of a brain tumor is very remote.

Headaches are a common occurrence among the general population, but the vast majority of them have nothing to do with cancer.

However, experts recommend that if you experience a new headache, or the pattern changes or becomes more frequent, that is a good reason to visit your primary care doctor to rule out any serious problems.

Warning Signs Of A Brain Tumor You Should Know

What does a brain tumor headache feel like

This article originally appeared in Prevention magazine. Read the original here.

Neurosurgeon Theodore Schwartz, M.D.Brain tumors come in all shapes and sizesand so do their symptoms.

“The key to a tumor’s symptoms really depends on its location,” says Theodore Schwartz, MD, a neurosurgeon with the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center.

For example, if you have a tumor near the part of your brain that controls your arm or your eyesight, your symptoms may include limb weakness or blurry vision, Schwartz says.

When you consider that every cell in your brain can form a tumorand that your brain controls or interprets information from every part of your bodythe list of possible tumor symptoms encompasses “almost anything imaginable,” Schwartz says.

Still, some signs and symptoms are more common than others. Here’s what to watch out for.

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Memory Loss And Confusion

Memory problems can be due to a tumor in the frontal or temporal lobe. A tumor in the frontal or parietal lobe can also affect reasoning and decision-making. For example, you may find that:

  • Its hard to concentrate, and youre easily distracted.
  • Youre often confused about simple matters.
  • You cant multitask and have trouble planning anything.
  • You have short-term memory issues.

This can happen with a brain tumor at any stage. It can also be a side effect of chemotherapy, radiation, or other cancer treatments. These problems can be exacerbated by fatigue.

Mild cognitive problems can happen for a variety of reasons other than a brain tumor. They can be the result of vitamin deficiencies, medications, or emotional disorders, among other things.

Brain Tumor Warning Signs

The Michigan Headache and Neurological Institute adds that certain warning signs may appear along with these headaches. If a patient notices any of these, she should seek immediate medical attention. Warning signs include a change in previous headache patterns, motor weakness, sensory problems, and visual symptoms.

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Signs Of Brain Metastases

Heres surprising fact: The most common brain tumors dontactually start in the brain. Brain metastases, or metastatic braintumors, spread to the brain from otherparts of the body most often from the lungs, breasts, skin, kidneysor colon.

A person with a known history of these cancers who developsany of these neurological symptoms should be evaluated, Dr. Ahluwalia says.

Brain Tumor Symptoms In Children: When To See A Doctor

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Many of these symptoms can be caused by routine health conditions, and thats most often the case. If youre concerned about one or more of these symptoms in your child, seek out the medical opinion of a health professional you trust. Often, an MRI scan can determine whether a brain abnormality is causing the symptoms.

If your child does have a brain tumor, advanced pediatric neurosurgery can offer effective treatment and a successful recovery for the majority of young patients who have this rare condition.

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Articles On Brain Cancer

Not all brain tumors cause symptoms. Your doctor may not even find some unless they do an imaging test like CT scan or MRI for another reason.

There are many symptoms of brain cancer. But some of them are also caused by other illnesses. The only way to know for sure what is causing your symptoms is to get tested.

Symptoms can result from:

  • A tumor pressing on or encroaching on other parts of your brain and keeping them from working like they should.
  • Swelling in your brain caused by the tumor or surrounding inflammation.

Primary and metastatic brain cancers have similar symptoms. These are the most common:

What Does A Brain Tumor Feel Like

A brain tumor is a growth or mass of abnormally grown cells. It could be in your brain or close to your brain. Brain tumors can be divided into different categories. Some of them are benign or noncancerous, while others are malignant or cancerous. You have a primary brain tumor if it grows in your brain it is called secondary or metastatic brain tumor if the cancer begins in other parts of the body but later spreads to your brain. Brain tumors can grow at a varying rate, and the symptoms you experience usually depend on the location and the growth rate of the tumor.

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How Long Should Someone Wait Until They See A Doctor About Their Headache

“Remember that the vast majority of headaches are self-resolving and not a symptom of a serious underlying health condition. However, you should contact your doctor if you have a new severe headache or a headache that is different from your normal pattern of headaches,” says Dr. Lipinski. “For instance, headaches that are sudden and very severe are concerning and should be evaluated immediately. Headaches that wake you from sleep, are worse in the morning, progressively worsen and do not improve with over-the-counter medications, are worse with coughing or bending forward, or are associated with any other neurologic symptoms should prompt a visit to your doctor.”

The same precautions should be taken by those who have a previous cancer diagnosis. If you are currently in treatment for or are a survivor of any cancer, and you have a new headache that is severe or persistent, you should speak with your cancer doctor right away.

Types Of Skull Base Tumors

7 Warning Signs Of A Brain Tumor You Should Know

Specialists at NYU Langone are experts at identifying the many types of skull base tumors. The skull base is located at the base of the brain. It sits behind the eyes and above the nasal cavitythe large empty space behind the noseand slopes down to the back of the head. It separates the brain from other structures of the head.

Many important nerves and blood vessels run through the skull base, which is why tumors that develop there can cause many different symptoms, depending on their location.

NYU Langone doctors determine the best treatment for you based on the type of tumor you have. Tumors in the skull base may be benign, meaning noncancerous, or malignant, meaning cancerous.

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When To See A Doctor

If youve been diagnosed with cancer elsewhere in your body and you start to experience strong headaches, tell your doctor. The cancer may have spread to your brain. Be ready to describe all your symptoms in detail. The nature of your headaches will help your physician make a better treatment plan.

If you have no cancer history, see your doctor or a neurologist if a headache lasts for several days or weeks with little or no relief.

A headache that continues to worsen with no response to traditional pain treatment should also be evaluated. Weight loss, muscle numbness, and sensory changes that accompany a headache should be checked promptly, too.

What Is The Most Common Type Of Surgery To Remove Brain Tumors

    Surgery is the usual first treatment for most brain tumors. Before surgery begins, you may be given general anesthesia, and your scalp is shaved. You probably won’t need your entire head shaved.

    Questions should you ask your surgeon before having a brain tumor removed

    • Do you suggest surgery for me?
    • How will I feel after the operation?
    • What will you do for me if I have pain?
    • How long will I be in the hospital?
    • Will I have any long-term effects? Will my hair grow back? Are there any side effects from using metal or fabric to replace the bone in the skull?
    • When can I get back to my normal activities?
    • What is my chance of a full recovery?

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    When To See A Gp

    It’s important to see a GP if you have any symptoms.

    While it’s unlikely that you have a tumour, these type of symptoms need to be evaluated by a doctor so the cause can be identified.

    If the GP is unable to find a more likely cause of your symptoms, they may refer you to a brain and nerve specialist called a neurologist for further assessment and tests, such as a brain scan.

    Page last reviewed: 21 April 2020 Next review due: 21 April 2023

    What Causes Cancer Pain

    Signs you may have a brain tumor

    There are a number of different causes of cancer pain. For example, the pain can stem from a tumor itself or the damage that it has caused the surrounding tissue or organs. For example, deep pain can occur in the bones from a tumor placing pressure on the bone, and burning pain can occur when a tumor presses against a nerve.

    There is also discomfort and pain associated with many cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy. In some cases, the pain you experience is associated with nerve damage. The nerves can be damaged during treatment or from the cancer itself. Additionally, nerves could be signaling the brain that damage is either occurring or could occur. Nerve damage typically cant be reversed and causes chronic pain.

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    What Does A Throat Cancer Lump Feel Like

    Throat cancer is a condition that is characterized by the development of malignant tumors in the throat , voice box or tonsils. In most cases, throat cancer originates in the flat cells that line the inside of the throat, a muscular tube that extends from the nose to the bottom of the neck.

    The symptoms of throat cancer can vary based on its specific location. Sometimes, it can cause a palpable lump to form in the neck, although this symptom is not always present. Its also important to note that neck lumps are often associated with upper respiratory infections, such as strep throat, and do not always indicate the presence of cancer. These lumps are actually lymph nodes that have become temporarily enlarged as they fight off infection. After the infection clears, the lymph nodes return to their normal size and the lumps go away. On the other hand, a lump that occurs without an infection or persists long after an infection resolves may be a sign of throat cancer.

    In addition to a lump, swelling or thickness in the neck, some other warning signs and symptoms of throat cancer include:

    • Swallowing difficulties

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    What Are The Common Causes Of A Brain Tumor

    The causes of brain tumor are not yet clearly known. However, there are common risk factors or triggers that may cause a brain tumor

    • Being overweight or obese increases the risk of certain types of brain tumors.
    • Unhealthy lifestyle including smoking and excessive alcohol consumption may trigger abnormal cell growth.
    • The risk of getting brain tumors becomes higher with increasing age.
    • Repeated exposure to radiation through ionizing radiation, X-rays, and computed tomography scans, power lines, nuclear plants, mobile phones and cell phone towers may trigger tumors.
    • Exposure to certain harmful chemicals may trigger a brain tumor. Examples include diesel exhaust, coal tar volatiles, tobacco smoke, arsenic compounds, cadmium compounds, nickel compounds and more.
    • People who have had cancer such as leukemia as a child have a higher risk of brain tumors as an adult. Adults who have had cancer also may have a chance of getting brain tumors, but further research is needed to confirm this finding.
    • In some rare cases, brain tumors may be genetically inherited. If a lot of people in a family have had brain tumors, an individual may be at an increased risk of the condition.

    Warning Signs Of A Brain Tumor

    Brain Tumor: What Does A Brain Tumor Feel Like

      Shabbar Danish, M.D. contributes to topics such as Neurosurgery.

      Your chances of developing a cancerous brain or spinal cord tumor is less than 1 percent, according to the American Cancer Association. But that doesnt always calm your fears when youve got a pounding headache.

      So what should you be looking out for? Shabbar Danish, M.D. FAANS, Chair of Neurosurgery at Jersey Shore University Medical Center, offers seven of the more common signs of a brain tumor:

    • Headaches. Everyone has a headache on occasion. Some people get them more often than others. But a headache that may signal somethings amiss is one that:
      • Wont go away with pain medication
      • Makes you throw up
      • Wakes you up from sleep
      • Gets worse in the morning and lessens during the day

      Pay particular attention to a headache if you have other neurological symptoms, such as weakness or loss of coordination.

    • Seizures. A tumor can irritate parts of the brain, leading to a seizure. Seizures are often the first signal of a brain tumor. In fact, about three out of every 10 people with a brain tumor were diagnosed after having a seizure. During a seizure you may experience vision changes like seeing floating spots or shapes, uncontrollable jerking, a brief lapse in memory or confusion, and/or a tingling in the arm or leg.
    • Mood changes. Brain tumors often cause personality changes, sudden mood swings and lapses in concentration.
    • Loss of smell. Loss of smell could be linked to a brain tumor.
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