Brain Cancer --Top 10 Signs
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March 13, 2010, last Updated May 25, 2012
[Editor's Note: This article has been updated with new
research
]
By Rory McClenaghan, Contributing Columnist



You get a severe headache and the question starts to creep
into your mind. Is this a blood vessel bursting in my head?
Or, more ominously, could this be a sign of brain cancer?

Every year over 35,000 people in the United States are
diagnosed with brain cancer, according to the National
Cancer Institute (NCI). Cancer, by definition, means that a
malignant tumor consisting of  an abnormal group of cells,
has started to grow in your  brain.

There are two main types of brain tumors, primary and
secondary. Primary brain tumors
start in the brain whereas
secondary, or metastatic, brain tumors come from cancerous
cells which have arrived in the brain from different parts of
the body.

A secondary brain tumor is a sign that cancer is in a very
advanced stage in the patient, spreading quickly throughout
the body. Primary brain tumors tend to stay within the
confines of the central nervous system and it is these we will
be focussing on in this article.


No one is completely sure what causes brain cancer and
what risk factors should be avoided. A study by the NCI in
1994 found no link with mobile phone use but showed that
genetic factors could play a part.  Still, the rumored
connection between heavy cell phone use is believed by
many. Even this week, March 2010, a new bill was
introduced in Maine that would require a label on mobile
phones warning against a possible link to brain cancer.

Even if you do not know what risk factors to avoid, the
important thing is that the cancer is caught early and there
are some warning signs to look out for which should help
the cancer to be caught and treated quickly.

Here are the Top 10 signs of brain cancer:



























1.
Smelling smoke. Smelling smoke where there is none ---
phantom smells  --are known in the medical world as
olfactory hallucinations. They are caused by damage to
tissue in the brain's olfactory system. This damage could be
caused by trauma from something like a head accident, but
equally it could be a sign that a tumor is present.

2.
Headaches. Headaches can indicate brain cancer. A severe
headache can be a symptom of many things. However, when
a severe headache is accompanied by nausea or vomiting, it
is a sign of brain tumors. These tumors can be benign and
removable, or more serious and malignant. So, it is best to
see your doctor for a proper diagnosis.

A tumor is basically something in your brain that should not
be there. As a result, when the tumor grows it pushes
against everything around it, causing intra-cranial pressure.
For the sufferer this means headaches. Many believe
headaches associated with brain tumors to be worse in the
morning but a 1993 study by the American Academy of
Neurology (Headaches in patients with brain tumors) found
no evidence for this.

Do all cases of brain tumor involve headaches? No, they do
not. According to a 1993 study from the Université de
Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada, only about 60% of brain
cancer patients report having headaches. Moreover, the
researchers saw many cases where large lesions were
present in the brain but the patient reported no headache at
all.

3.
Vomiting and nausea . In the same study from the
American Academy of Neurology, researchers found that  
vomiting and nausea accompanying a headache make it more
likely that the headache is caused by a tumor.

4.
Hearing a buzzing sound. The American Brain Tumor
Association (ABTA) advises that a buzzing or ringing in the
ears (
tinnitus) could be caused by a tumor affecting the
cerebelloponine angle. It could even lead to deafness as the
tumor gets bigger.

5.
Slurred speech . A tumor in the cerebellum of the brain
can affect the coordination of muscles, leading to sufferers'
speech being slowed and coming across as slurred.

6.
Losing your  balance. Stumbling, tripping or falling down
can be signs of a brain tumor. If you start to feel more
clumsy than usual and find it had to walk in your normal,
coordinated way, there is a chance you may have a tumor
affecting your brain stem.

7.
Seizures. One of the most common warning signs of a
brain tumor are seizures. According to ABTA, 33% of  
patients with brain tumors only find out they have one after
a suffering a seizure.

8.
Mental problems.  Short term memory loss, difficulties
with concentration and confusion can all be signs of brain
cancer. As can personality disorders, as shown by an
American Psychiatric Association study in 1941 (Personality
disorders with brain tumors).

9.
Vision Problems. The increased intracranial pressure
caused by a tumor can lead to a swelling of the optic nerve.
As a result patients suffer a range of sight problems – loss of
peripheral vision, double vision or a general blurring of sight.

10.
Numbness in limbs. The parietal lobe interprets the
sensations that we feel. When a tumor affects this part of
the brain it can lead to a loss of sensation or numbness in
the sufferer's arms or legs. (
Read about other conditions
that can make your leg  numb or cause it to fall asleep.)


Related Links:
Cancer Fighting Foods
Why Do I Hear My Pulse In My Ear?

/ How Much Is Too Much Salt? /Sugar-The Disease
Connection / Are Diet Sodas Bad for Your Health? / Ideal
Breakfast for Diabetics / Ideal Breakfast for Arthritis
/
Healing Foods Links /  Foods That Shrink Your Waist /
Foods That Lower Cholesterol/ VLDL-The Other Cholesterol/
Foods That Reduce Blood Pressure

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