What are the signs and symptoms of brain cancer?

29 answers | Last updated: Nov 18, 2016
Tlrobinson62 asked...

what are the signs and symptoms of brain cancer?



Community Answers

Mary1025 answered...

Brain cancer is rather tricky and can have many symptoms.  Headaches, ringing in th ears, distorted vision, gate problems, speech changes.  In time, the body can shut down.  We lost my sister of 43 to this distorting cancer.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Come on..Who are the people (person) answering these questions.  ?  Every day lay people or professionals?.  My guess would be every day lay people considering they must not know the definition of the word " gaite".  It was misspelled so to me that means the answerer is guessing.  Why can't these answers be given by professionals.?


Jcottlemd answered...

Symptoms associated with space-occupying masses such as tumors can range widely and some the greatest misconceptions exist regarding symptoms of cancer located in the brain. There are other oncological processes that occur within the brain aside from tumors as well, but the fact that brain tumors are the most readily identified with, it is the form most worrisome to persons experiencing symptoms.

Headaches are typically a very late-stage symptom of brain tumors, malignant or otherwise, resulting from compression due to limited space within the skull and other symptoms appear far earlier than this stage. Tinnitus or ringing in the ears is another common misconception about brain cancer and rarely exists as a warning sign of such disease. 

The most common early signs are directly associated with the area of the brain whose function is being disrupted or affected by a malignant process. Any number of physical signs and symptoms may appear as a consequence, including disturbances of "gait," coordination, vision, sensation,physical tone, olfactory or sense of smell, behavior, autonomic function and a host of other functions that are rarely associated to brain cancer in the mind of the affected individual.

From a neurological standpoint, the specific constellation of symptoms, inclusive of other diagnostic criteria, are vitally necessary to making an initial diagnosis to be supported by imaging and biopsy studies.  In other words, a neat and generalized short list of early warning signs of cancer within the brain does not exist. It is, however, within the category of the more rare cancers among the disease in general and the more common or typical underlying causes should be investigated fully prior to making any consideration of cancer at the level of the brain.  


A fellow caregiver answered...

Well thank you, Dr. Cottle! That's exactly the kind of response we're looking for when we go online in search of answers.

I've learned quickly that the internet can be a dangerous place to go looking for answers to medical questions. So many people out there who have either had a problem or know of someone who has, wastes no time in thinking this association confers the medical training and experience necessary to answer questions by other people. This is very wrong and can even be dangerous in some instances where the person may not know the source providing the information.

I'm of the firm opinion that unless someone is a medically trained doctor, they should never fire off answers to medical questions as though they know the facts. It's one thing to offer support, but altogether a different thing to speak from the position of a medical doctor when the person has absolutely no qualified training or experience. Either go to medical school or pass the question, but don't answer medical questions that you have no training or licensure necessary to offer a qualified opinion.

thanks again Dr. Cottle


Yellow answered...

Anonymous Caring.com community member you posted and let me quote 

"I've learned quickly that the internet can be a dangerous place to go looking for answers to medical questions. So many people out there who have either had a problem or know of someone who has, wastes no time in thinking this association confers the medical training and experience necessary to answer questions by other people" then u went to thank


Ladiereign answered...

Although internet medical information can be dangerous, people who have survived this form of cancer or families who have lost love ones  can add information to these sites that may be helpful to someone looking for answers.  Maybe someones unprofessional comment(s) will help the person on the other side of the computer get up and go to a physician especially if they see symptoms that they are experiencing.  Information is just that; tap into your common sense and go see a physician. never rely soley on these types of medical websites.


A fellow caregiver answered...

My husband was dx with glioblastoma multiforme , which is very rare about 15,000 people are dx with this type of brain cancer every year.  However he didn't fit the "criteria very well.  He was only 38.  And He suffered from severe headaches for 6 months before going to see a doctor and schedule a physical.  His physical was clean so he's doctors just thought his headaches were due to a slight rate in high blood pressure.  One morning at 3 a.m. He awoke and said he felt like a daggar was being forced into his left eye and he needd to get to a hospital.  That morning they gave him 3 months to live.  About 3 months into his treatment from Duke University, he started having seisures, and he was fully awake when he was having them.  He lived a total of 7 1/2 months total.


Joecarr answered...

Anonymous,

My wife is an RN of 24 years and knows a doctor's authoring when she sees it.  You are in a very small minority if you think JCottleMD is not an MD due to the spelling of the word "gait".  He is correct in spelling it "gait" and you are incorrect by spelling it "gaite". You need to get your facts in order before you insult someone.

You owe the doctor an apology.  Are you man enough?


Share answered...

A close friend of mine was diagnosed with Brain Cancer, his only sympton was slight dizziness the day before.  He left work feeling sick, began to have seizures, BAM they found a tumor.  He was given 3 yrs.  It has been 3 yrs 6 mos, and he is alive!!  Chemo, surgery and an EXTREMELY  positive attitude is the key to beating this. 


A fellow caregiver answered...

My mother was 17 in 1953 when she lost her 43 year-old dad to glioblastoma of the brain. My mom actually has the doctor's typewritten report on the type, size, findings during surgery, etc. Very interesting for such an old document, and the Dr. was at Emory University in Atlanta.

My mom has told me the story as if it were only yesterday because the experience has left an indelible mark in her memory. She said her father was a very smart, mechanical minded person who travelled the South repairing cotton gins for a living. During this time, he came in contact with asbestos, but at that time, I am not sure the dangers were clear. That may or may not have anything to do with his disease, but before the brain tumor was discovered, he had a melanoma removed from his chin. It had started out as a mole, but started changing after he was stung by what southerners call a "sweat bee".

Not long after the removal of the melanoma, he began having headaches, becoming dizzy, and smelling "odd" smells.

The antiquated xray's discovered the tumor, and an attempt was made to atleast reduce the size. When the skull was opened up, the mass exploded in size...almost grapefruit dimensions. The surgeon removed as much as he could, but said that quality of life would be zero. He never regained conciousness...only reaching his hand to the bandage a few times during the night, and succumbing before the morning.

This was devastating to my mother. She still cries when she tells me the story. Her Dad was her hero. To be 17 and watch your dad suffer this horrible death...hard to imagine.


Bren9565 answered...

My beautiful sister was only 43 when she was dx with glioblastoma, stage 4... the reason she went to the doctor was because she would be standing at work and her workers noticed that she would be leaning really bad to one side, it got so bad that she thought that maybe she had an artery or something clogged and boy was she wrong :(  the doctor said it was a brain tumor and they went in to remove it and found that it was cancer, they got 95% of it and the 5% was imbedded into roots that would have effected her speech, it was the size of an egg,  she lived 14 months, she was a christian woman so I know where she is and I'll see her again some day!  God Bless,  (God healed her by taking her out of this aweful world..)  they called it:  Left Neglect... just like if she turned the water on and it was the left knob?  she would forget to turn it off... she would be starring at her right arm and you could ask whats wrong and it would be iching and she couldn't use her left arm.. she was so so sad, but she never complained,  Cancer is such an ugly word.


Babygirl answered...

My Dad was diagnosed with brain cancer in mid to late 98 I have no idea when because he never told us about it..in Dec. of 98 he suffered a mild stroke his health went downhill from there..his Dr. convinced him to have surgery we said no something told us it was not a good idea..he had the surgery when the Dr. opened up his skull the cancer spread throughout his entire body attacking everything..we were not told this could happen..he slipped into a coma and lasted for a week and on the day he was suppose to come home and begin his recovery he died..that day no one believes us, but my Mother and I was in the room with him and he told us he loved us and held our hands before slipping back into a coma for the last time..his Dr. told us it wasn't possible..we argued with him told him we know what we saw and heard no one else in our family believes us, but we don't care! My Dad died the day after his 74th Bday on March 23rd 1999..I miss him!! The day of his funeral my so called older Brother informed me I was adopted he got upset with me when I told him Daddy raised me and loved me when no one else wanted me so he was my Daddy adopted or not..that's right isn't it??


Braincancersurviver answered...

 As my "handle" implies, I am a brain cancer survivor. I am not a physician and don't pretend to give advice to anyone on this life-changing (or ending) malady.

My first symptom that something was seriously wrong was a seizure at O'Hare (Chicago) airport. We landed there to change planes and I don't remember getting off the airplane. I woke up in a Chicago hospital with no idea how I got there or what was wrong. 

I had what was called a focal seizure that they attributed to a stroke. I was 54 at the time. I returned home where, after further testing, the diagnosis was a low-grade brain tumor. I had a biopsy (stealth) that confirmed this diagnosis. I was very fortunate as my neurosurgeon was wiling to refer me to UCSF (4th ranked neuro center in the U.S.) and I underwent surgery to remove the tumor that was located in my right frontal lobe. The surgeon expressed very high confidence that he got it all but the pathology report on the tumor raised the severity of the diagnosis. 

The new diagnosis was Anaplastic Astrocytoma (World Health Organization (WHO) Grade III). This is a primary malignant brain tumor. I have completed radiation therapy and continue on chemotherapy. I am very optimistic and looking forward to getting back to work. 

I agree with some of the comments above. There are over 200 types of brain cancer. It can be a primary brain tumor or can be caused by migration of cancer from other parts of the body. If you have any of the symptoms of brain cancer, I beg you to discuss them with your physician. This is not a disease that you can self-diagnose. Your doctor can give you simple neurological tests that can either reassure you or prompt you see a neurologist. 


Oh please answered...

Um, the reason professions dont answer is they are NOT being paid to do so.

 

And it never ceases to amaze me how religious people think that they will see someone in heaven...dont think God gave them cancer for a reason eh? to suffer and die? And you want THAT god as your savior? Please people do grow up.


Bevjean answered...

All of you who think MD mispelled "gait" are wrong.  This is the correct spelling.  Look it up in a dictionary.   "Gait", a way of walking, running, or moving along on foot.  There is no such word as "gaite"!

 

 


Jewely answered...

it is most amazing to me that people can actually think we got here scientifically, there has to be someone in a higher form like god , we are not capable of things like that and gods  plan does involve people to make there own plan to come to this realm or whatever you want to call it and learn some lessons and i guess suffering (of cancer) is one of them lessons, i'm sure the people are goood who get it , but how would we be here if the creator didn't make us( to start i mean) , i'm sorry i guess i got off the beaten track of the whole thing i don't really have a story on the cancer so don't publish if you don't want to but i am sorry for all the sufferers of it i pray always and they will be in my prayers, thank you and sorry


Ncypants641 answered...

I am not a professional and I dont think that the complete reason for these posts are to answer fully the exact symptoms of cancer on a pro level. I believe it is a combination of other peoples experiences that are intended to help , concidering only a pro can answer the question for a charge. I know that my uncle has been diagnosed with tumors on the brain and the way they found his was very unusual. He started hearing voices due to the pressure placed on the certain part of the brain that causes this. The brain is so complex that even doctors are still studying the effects of pressure placed on the brain in different areas caused by various deseases or conditions. Everyone is individual thus causing individual symptoms.


Tagaman answered...

choroid plexus carcinoma

I am not a professional. I can only give my own personal account of a loved one that battled brain cancer. The above cancer stated is quite horrible and aggressive. But then again what cancer isn't ? My two year old daughter ( Cielo ) had this cancer for 11 months before it took her life. Even after surgery and chemo this cancer spread down her spine after a spinal tap. One tumor ended up as 7 three in her head and four down her spine. Don't believe me check it out for your self. www.caringbridge.org/ga/cielo/ You can't make this stuff up!


Scramps answered...

PROFSSIONALS DONOT ANSWER THIS ? IN THIS FORUM BECAUSE THEY DONOT CONSIDER THIS APPROPRIATE USE OF THEIR TIME AWAY FROM THE OFFICE. THEY ARE READING UPDATES ON THEIR SPECIALTIES. FAMILY COMMUNITY, RELIGION OCCUPY THEIR TIME AWAY FROM THEIR PRACTICE EXCEPT OF COURSE FOR THEIR GOLF DAY. CHERS


Tia1234 answered...

this is to oh please, where do you think you will go when you die, because if you are wrong you will suffer an eternity in hell, if you are right which i know you are not you have nothing to lose. you better be on the safe side and give your whole life to Jesus Christ my Lord and savior. I have seen to many prayers answered in my own life not to give my whole life to him.


Bibletruth answered...

I dont have an answer to the topic,howeverI have some answers to tia1234 :sheol (hebrew)translates "abode of the dead"In (english)hell is where all activity is ceased Ecclesiastes 9:5 "for the living they know that they will die, but the dead know nothing....for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in sheol, to which you are going" There is no suffering there, thats why the patriarch Job begged God "Protect me in Hell" (sheol)Job 14:13 What meaning would there be for Job to go there if it was a place of torment? What crime however horrible could cause a God of love to torment a person endlessly? 1John 4"8 /compare bible verses PS 146:3,4/Acts 2:25-27/Romans6:7,23 God does not punish people in Hell


A fellow caregiver answered...

if you think you have a brain tumor and the neurologist doesn't demand a MRI. they are expensive but worth the peace of mind if you don't have one. two members of my family were misdiagnosed for yearsss. one died and the other is alive because he demanded mri, resulting in emergency brain surgery within hours after the test.


A fellow caregiver answered...

I think all you people bickering back and forth should move to another forum. Everyone assumes Dr. Cottle is not medically trained. Unless you know this person you have no idea. Not all doctors are selfish and self absorbed. Some actually care about others!


Momperino answered...

I had a 6 cm chondrosarcoma at the base of my skull, and I felt Jesus carry me through the whole experience of surgery and radiation. I always thought I believed in Him, but He became REAL when I was shown my MRI. We live in a toxic world and Jesus is there to give us peace as we face cancer. He doesn't cause it. All I can tell you is my own experience and I hope not to be attacked, judged and called "religious". It's my experience, that no one can argue with. Hope you find that peace, too.


A fellow caregiver answered...

ANSWER why no I have none. BRAIN cancer well I don't know why I may not even have a brain. DUE to an semi-transport day cab and possom belly trailer collision with a log semi-truck of which the logs won, the part of my brain I use to use was removed along with some blood-clots that had developed. Simple fact afther impact I had a small stroke and my brain had began to swell this was an attemp to releive pressure from the injury. Now I know why I always carried around so much brain that I did not use for any purpose known. I was not supposed to walk ever again or be out of a wheelchair rest of my life. Balance-phyiscal judgement was most effected. Sometime and someday this may become true but not now. Speech and thinking show some sign of problems. NO-not any answer but sometimes we must LIVE the what-is and not the what-IF's.


Victim answered...

"Change in gait", meaning a change in walk, is very correct. My wife would get up off the couch, and then walk with her left foot pointed outwards. It looked very uncomfortable to me, but she said it didn't bother her at all, and when we walked our pet dog together, she would walk that way for nearly a block, before she returned to her normal walk, feet forward like everyone else. Another symptom she had, was at her job at McDonalds hamburgers, she could no longer work the french fry dust pan, the long-handled thing, that you sweep french fries on the floor, into the pan. They sent her to an industrial clinic, and the doctor could find nothing. Basically, she was paralyzed on her left side, but didn't know it, and didn't feel it. Also, I noticed she often slumped to one side, while watching TV, sitting on the couch. She didn't know what was wrong with her, as nothing in particular hurt. She did notice the change in her composure, and it did make her upset enough to want to tell me that something was wrong, but she just could not explain it, except to tell me, by her own assessment, the she had "lost her sense of balance". One unfortunate day, she was feeding her cats in our garage, and she fell, and completely collapsed on her left side. I picked her up and took her to the emergency room. At first, they said she appeared to have a stroke, and we both said "no way" to that, since she was young and healthy. Her foot was a little stiff, though, and a cat scan revealed the tumor. She was diagnosed with "Glioblastoma Multiforme". She died 252 days later, at age 39. The treatment was out of the "Dark Ages". Non-focused radiation, chemotherapy, skull-opening surgeries. The surgeries caused her to suffer "brain seizures", which was the saddest part, and the most painful part, for her. It was like being tasered inside the brain, for a second, she would cry out "I don't deserve this", when that happened! To prevent seizures, we had to curtail brain activity by not forcing her to think too much, because thinking too much activated electrical activity in her brain. Luckily for me, she managed to retain her normally sweet personality, during most of the ordeal. If they had left her without treatment, she would have died in a coma at home. Having treatment was not really any better, due to the seizure suffering, the radiation sickness and the chemotherapy sickness.

Those are the facts, anyway.

For those of you who might wonder, I always regarded her as a very good person, perhaps called early by her Creator, she loved everyone, and everything in life. She was the bravest, too.

I am humbled before her, and before her Creator.


Kathy12 answered...

My wonderful boss has a glioblastoma level IV brain cancer. He is a big strapping handsome man and it was found because he had a grand mal seizure while driving some of us to an appointment. He had no prior symptoms that anybody can remember. It is an extremely invasive cancer...had surgery, and it has been a year and a half since the event, so he beat the odds so far. He is still having regular chemo. My brother in law is a neurologist of 30+ years standing. What he tells me is that if the brain is north america, we know florida. He has told me that patients that he did not think had a chance pulled through, while others he thought would did not. This is a cruel disease, but I agree with other posters that a positive and determined attitude has got to make a difference. My boss is still here against the odds and he is a big hero to us.


Momperino answered...

My only symptoms were very mild. I owe my life to a very proactive doctor. Dec. '08,I was in for a checkup (I'm 53) and just happened to ask if I could see an opthalmologist because I had been experienceing double vision when I looked to the right or left. She waved her pen in front of my eyes and told me to follow. She sent me to a neurologist, who said my right eye wasn't following properly and ordered an MRI. Mine is chondrosarcoma (bone cancer in the cartilage at the base of my skull, very rare, only 2% of all cancers). In retrospect, I was having headaches that I thought were related to caffeine, and tinnitus in my ears. I am so fortunate I had no seizures. The only way to find these things is with an MRI or CT scan. Thank God we have them available! I also got several "second opinions" and everyone agreed on surgery and radiation. We're with Kaiser Permanente in So. California and I was treated with world-class care. They can all communicate because the whole system is digital. Loved 'em!


Abelsmith answered...

Most common signs are headache, nausea, vomiting followed by seizures. Seizures can be caused by epilepsy, high fevers, stroke, trauma, and other disorders, but these should never be neglected. Hearing ringing or buzzing sounds or complete hearing loss can also be seen. Seizure is the second highest symptom seen in almost 33% of patients. Seizures can be caused by other things, like epilepsy, high fevers, stroke, trauma, and other disorders, but these should never be neglected. In a person who never had a seizure before, it usually indicates something serious and you must get a brain scan. http://www.thebrainhealth.com