Health

How To Spot Brain Cancer Before It’s Too Late

Loss of Smell Most people associate loss of smell with coronaviruses now but it can be a symptom of brain cancer. Don’t panic immediately because it’s… Darren Ryding - January 13, 2024
Lost Your Sense Of Smell How To Tell If Its Covid Or Something Else
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Loss of Smell

Most people associate loss of smell with coronaviruses now but it can be a symptom of brain cancer. Don’t panic immediately because it’s likely to be something relatively minor. However, a prolonged loss of smell is an issue that may require a doctor’s intervention. This isn’t a common symptom but it can occur.

When brain tumors occur in certain parts of the brain it can trigger this response. These include the frontal and temporal lobes. Remember, it’s extremely rare so it’s very likely that it’s not serious. But it’s never too early to receive a brain cancer diagnosis because the condition requires urgent treatment (via Daily Express).

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Aging

Aging is not a symptom of brain cancer but it is a cause. Brain tumors most frequently occur in adults over the age of 85. However, it’s not all good news because some forms of brain cancer are more common in children. They remain rare but they are possible.

It’s important to live a healthy and active lifestyle when we’re younger to reduce the potential for health problems as we age. Experts remain uncertain about how brain tumors occur. Nonetheless, they do know that the elderly are more prone and vulnerable to its effects. (via The Guardian)

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Not Breathing

This one might confuse people but it happens. Sometimes people stop breathing for a few moments without realizing it. This is known as apnea which usually happens when they’re asleep. It can last between 10 and 30 seconds before the brain comprehends what’s happening.

It won’t shock anybody to learn that this isn’t healthy and can even be life-threatening. Often victims won’t realize that they have a problem unless it happens when they’re awake. Sleep apnea can be a symptom of a brain tumor because the neural passages aren’t sending messages to the lungs. (via Cancer.net)

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Eating Difficulties

Dysphagia is a common brain cancer symptom that affects more than 50 percent of patients. This is a serious side-effect because it severely impacts their quality of life. In short, this is when a person finds it difficult to swallow. It’s challenging to eat or even to drink leading to more problems.

Malnutrition and dehydration are the two most immediate concerns. However, pneumonia is another potential risk that may emerge. This is very challenging and will also affect the patient’s capacity to recover from brain cancer. It’s a vicious cycle and one that is tough to recover from (via CVH).

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Nausea and Vomiting

This is one of brain cancer’s most common symptoms and one of the worst to experience. Often the swelling brain tumor creates pressure inside the skull and this causes intense pain. Vomiting may occur because it’s such an uncomfortable experience. However, there’s another reason why it may happen.

Some parts of the brain are responsible for nausea including the cerebellum. This makes it more likely that the patient will experience vomiting. It’s more likely to occur if they suddenly change position from lying flat to sitting up or at specific stages of the day (via John Hopkins Medicine).

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Weight Gain

One of the weirdest aspects of cancer diagnoses is that there’s no consistency in symptoms. For example, some people may experience weight loss and malnutrition through an inability to eat. However, others may have the opposite problem as they gain weight for several reasons.

Water retention is one of the main causes of weight gain but constipation can also be a factor. The brain fails to send messages to the digestion symptom and causes problems with passing waste. It’s very uncomfortable and can also be emotionally challenging for the patient to deal with. (via Maggies.org)

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Inability to Look Up

One of the strangest signs of brain cancer is the inability to look up. Sometimes patients may experience pain if they turn their heads upward. This may happen if the tumor is affecting the pineal gland. The gland is responsible for excreting hormones throughout the body.

However, the placement means that it can cause acute pain in brain cancer patients. If this inability to raise their head progresses they should seek urgent medical attention. The cancer may progress and cause more serious side effects like strokes (via Penn Medicine).

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Vision Problems

Here is another of brain cancer’s most common symptoms. The tumor may impact the optic nerve and this gradually damages the optic nerve. First, they may experience blurry vision but it will escalate. There may be a blind spot or even a complete loss of sight if it progresses without treatment.

This may seem terrifying to imagine because most of us can’t imagine living in a dark world. Seek treatment if blurry vision occurs because it may be a sign of something sinister. It’s crucial to stop the cancer from progressing to prevent long-term damage because it may be irreparable (via Moffit).

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SLMA

Family History

Some families appear to be more susceptible to brain cancer than others. Research shows that in a tiny percentage of cases, it can pass down through generations. However, hereditary brain cancer only occurs in 10 percent of diagnoses so the risk is low. Nonetheless, it’s wise to be aware of family history.

According to Healthline, brain tumors are the second most common form of cancer in children. Prospective parents with a history of brain cancer in their families should be aware of this. While it’s unlikely that they’ll experience it, it’s not impossible and it’s wise to be prepared.

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Personality Changes

All cancers can cause personality changes both before and after diagnosis. Firstly, the tumor may affect the cognitive systems and change how the patient processes different emotions. This is something that may happen subconsciously and only their loved ones will notice.

After diagnosis, they may also experience personality changes because it’s a stressful situation. Increased aggression and depression are known results that impact many victims. They must have a strong and understanding support network that tries to help them through their battle. (via Science Direct)

 

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Drowsiness

Brain cancer may cause fatigue because of the tumor’s effect on the organ. This is very difficult to treat until the overall prognosis improves. Usually, it takes about six months for patients to recover from extreme tiredness. Meanwhile, other factors may trigger fatigue too.

Unsurprisingly, a brain cancer diagnosis often causes stress and this may result in fatigue. Furthermore, other symptoms like cognitive difficulties and eating problems may have the side-effect of tiredness. Often several signs of brain cancer relate to and influence each other. (via The Brian Tumor Charity)

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Redcliffe Labs

Behavioral Changes

We may notice that somebody in our life is inexplicably behaving differently. There are many reasons behind this but if it’s a sudden and unusual change then it may be a sign of their deteriorating health. Maybe they’re strangely fixating on things or acting erratically .

This can be a sign of brain cancer because they aren’t processing thoughts as clearly as before. It’s a difficult one to approach because we don’t want to offend anybody by asking them if they have a health issue. However, it’s better to check in and potentially save their life than just to ignore them. (via Chateau Recovery)

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