There are many illnesses in the world but a diagnosis of cancer is always devastating. Any type of cancer can affect you and your entire family but when the diagnosis is of brain cancer, it is one of the more serious and frightening forms of the disease. It is important to know the symptoms of brain cancer so you don’t ignore something you may be experiencing and delay the diagnosis.
One of the more serious types of brain cancer is glioblastoma, an aggressive cancer that most professionals consider to be incurable. Many people have recently become aware of this type of cancer because of the death of the presidential candidate and Republican Senator, John McCain.
McCain was aware that he had cancer because of his diagnosis in July, 2017. For many people, the diagnosis does not come until it is too late. Brain tumors may carry a number of different symptoms and they can be difficult to pinpoint.
If you pay attention to what your body is telling you, you may get an early diagnosis. Here are some of the early warning signs of brain cancer.
1. Persistent headaches
Headaches are one of the most common signs of a brain tumor, affecting about 50% of those who have this form of cancer. The pain tends to be worse when you wake up in the morning or if you move suddenly. These types of headaches do not typically respond to the use of pain medication.
The sudden onset of seizures is also common signs of a brain tumor, especially if you’ve never had one before. Brain tumors may apply pressure to the cells in the brain, interfering with electric signals and causing a seizure. 50% of people who have brain tumors have at least one brain seizure according to the American Cancer Society.
3. Short-term memory loss
Any type of memory loss can be a sign of brain cancer but one of the first signs is short-term memory loss. This could include forgetting things that just occurred, such as what you had for breakfast that morning. You might find that confusion is more likely to occur and you might not be able to multitask or plan for any type of upcoming events.
4. Changes in your mood
Personality changes, including mood swings, can be a sign of a brain tumor. According to Mike Chen MD Ph.D., “A large, slowly growing tumor in the frontal lobe can alter personality and judgment so far as to be mistaken for criminal behavior or psychiatric problems.”
Approximately 25% of those who have a brain tumor suffer from a major depressive disorder. This isn’t just a matter of having a case of the blues, it is a persistent and prolonged problem that can include intense sadness and interferes with your ability to live your day-to-day life. You might even feel as if you are beyond hope.
6. Hearing problems
If you are having a sudden difficulty hearing the TV or the conversation of others, it may be a sign of a brain tumor. Tinnitus, a ringing in the ears may also occur. “If you’re experiencing hearing loss from one side or a constant ringing sensation, known as tinnitus, you’ll want to make an appointment with your doctor, who can determine whether your symptoms are severe enough to see a neurologist,” says Dr. Christopher Carrubba, MD, co-director for medical education at Med School Tutors.
7. Unusual fatigue
This is more than just being a little tired, it’s as if you are exhausted every day, all day and are unable to overcome it. You might even nod off in the middle of the workday and may have a problem focusing. It is important to note that fatigue may be a sign of a cancerous brain tumor but it may also be the sign of many other health issues. It is best to check with your doctor if you have severe fatigue problems.