What are the first symptoms of a brain tumor?

Brain tumors can cause physical and mental symptoms. Symptoms may differ depending on the type, location, and stage of the tumor. Some symptoms can be quite general. These include headaches, vision problems, and mood swings. Seizures and personality changes can also indicate the presence of a brain tumor.

If a person notices any early symptoms of a brain tumor, they should speak to their doctor for a full diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment can lead to better results.

Brain tumor symptoms

Brain tumor symptoms are similar regardless of whether they are cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign).

They can differ depending on the type, location in the brain, and stage of the tumor.

Some of the more common symptoms of a brain tumor include:

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Changes in personality
  • Eye sight problems
  • Memory loss
  • Humor changes
  • Tingling or stiffness on one side of the body.
  • Loss of balance
  • Sickness
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety or depression
  • Difficult to focus
  • Difficulty communicating as usual
  • Feeling confused or disoriented
  • Loss of coordination
  • Muscular weakness.

Primary brain tumors are tumors that begin in the brain. In the following sections, we look at various types of brain tumors and their specific symptoms:


About a third of primary brain tumors are meningiomas. They are usually benign and slow growing.They grow from the tissue that covers the brain and spinal cord and create pressure in these areas.Meningiomas are rare in children and more common in women over 60 years of age.

Meningioma symptoms can include:

  • Headaches.
  • Arm or leg weakness.
  • Seizures.
  • Changes in personality.
  • Eye sight problems.


Glioblastomas are malignant tumors. They can grow quickly and require more intensive treatment. According to the Brain Tumor Association, healthcare providers grade tumors based on how abnormal the cells they contain. Grade 1 tumors are the least malignant and grade 4 tumors are the most malignant. Glioblastomas are grade 4 tumors. Glioblastomas create pressure on the brain, and symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Headaches, which may be more intense in the morning.
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  • Weakness in the body, such as an arm, leg, or face.
  • Difficulty balancing.
  • Memory problems.
  • Seizures.


Astrocytomas are brain tumors that grow from cells called astrocytes, which make up brain tissue. They can range from grade 1 to 4, with grade 1 tumors growing slower than grade 4 tumors. Some of the early symptoms of astrocytoma include:

  • Headaches.
  • Memory loss.
  • Seizures.
  • Changes in behavior.
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