Other Symptoms

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Other symptoms of brain tumors include mass effect and focal, or localized, symptoms.  


Description

  • Mass Effect: Mass effect can cause nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, vision problems, and headaches and/or changes in behavior. Mass effect can cause damage by pushing on and moving the delicate brain tissue.
  • Focal Symptoms: Focal/localized symptoms can often help identify the location of the tumor. They include hearing problems such as ringing or buzzing sounds or hearing loss, as well as decreased muscle control, lack of coordination, decreased sensation, weakness or paralysis, difficulty walking or speaking, balance problems, or double vision.


Cause

  • Mass Effect: Mass effect is caused by increased intercranial pressure, also known as IICP. This increased pressure in the brain may be caused by a tumor growing within the tight confines of the skull, because the fluid that flows around and through the brain is blocked (hydrocephalus) and/or because of swelling of the brain around the tumor due to buildup of fluid (edema).
  • Focal Symptoms: These symptoms are caused by the tumor itself and how it affects a specific part of the brain.


Management

  • Mass Effect: Prompt treatment is required to avoid serious consequences. If you or a loved one is experiencing vision changes, severe/sudden-onset personality changes, vomiting, or severe head pain, seek emergency medical help.
  • Focal Symptoms: How these symptoms are managed depends upon the type of tumor causing them, as well as the location of the tumor. 

It is important to note that the information provided here is basic and does not take the place of an in-person assessment by a physician. If there is any question about the seriousness of the symptoms experienced, please contact your doctor.