A brain tumor is a mass or growth of abnormal cells in your brain. Many different types of brain tumors exist. Some brain tumors are noncancerous (benign), and some brain tumors are cancerous (malignant). Brain tumors can begin in your brain (primary brain tumors), or can spread from other parts of your body and brain (secondary, or metastatic brain tumors).
The number of brain tumors diagnosed each year is increasing. There's evidence the increase has been occurring for decades. But it's not clear why. Factors may include environmental causes or our improved ability to diagnose the tumors because of more advanced technology.
The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor vary greatly and depend on the brain tumor's size, location and rate of growth.
General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include:
• New onset or change in the pattern of headaches
• Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe
• Unexplained nausea or vomiting
• Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
• Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
• Difficulty with balance
• Speech difficulties
• Confusion in everyday matters
• Personality or behavior changes
• Seizures, especially in someone who doesn't have a history of seizures
• Hearing problems
• Hormonal (endocrine) disorders