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Early Signs and Symptoms of Brain Cancer

21Dec 2022

Early signs and symptoms of brain cancer

Brain cancer refers to the growth of an abnormal mass of cancerous cells within the brain. It may start off as a benign tumor, which slowly invades and becomes or cancerous or it may even originate in other parts of the body and then spread to the brain. 

Brain cancer can occur among any age group and may begin insidiously, which is why most individuals miss the initial signs and symptoms allowing cancer progress to a later stage. A late diagnosis is what could be accountable for the poor 5-year survival rate of brain cancer, which is just 33.2% . It is important that you recognise any early signs and stop brain cancer from progressing from the stage of a small tumor.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Brain Cancer that I should be careful about?


Headache is one of the earliest sign of brain cancer, which are very severe and tend to be unresolvable by usual measures. Such severe aches are experienced more so in the morning .

The pain is usually generalised but it can also be experienced more intensely in certain areas close to the cancerous growth or in areas on which it exerts pressure.

Nausea and vomiting

Headache due to cancer in the brain will be commonly accompanied by a feeling of nausea and may even cause vomiting. This can be due to the extreme pain experienced by the individual or due to the involvement of associated brain centers.


The individual experiences a generalised feeling of fatigue, drowsiness and uneasiness, which may interfere with the daily activities.

This can also be accompanied by muscle weakness.


Seizures refer to sudden involuntary movements of muscles, and are one of the classic signs of brain cancer, which will be experienced by more than half of those affected, at any point during the advancement of cancer .

Sometimes, this is seen as the first sign of brain cancer and the type of seizures experienced depends on the part of the brain involved. 

The twitches or spasms experienced can be single or multiple and may be accompanied by other symptoms like headache, loss of consciousness or mental confusion. Loss of body functions will also be experienced while the individual is in the phase of a seizure.

It is important to seek medical help immediately to avoid health complications due to a seizure. At the same time, it is important to determine the cause, which is likely to be a cancer of the brain.

Loss of balance and coordination

An increased intracranial pressure arising from the growing mass of cancer often affects different brain centers causing loss in balance, coordination or interference in task performance.

Speech problems

When cerebrum and associated parts of the brain are involved, the individual will experience problems with speech and language comprehension, which may initially manifest as a difficulty in understanding certain words .

Visual problems

The individual may experience blurred vision or may see dark spots due to the growth of cancerous cells in the area of the occipital or temporal lobe of the brain. Double vision is another common symptom.

Gradually, a partial or total loss of vision may occur.

Loss of initiative 

Due to a generalised fatigue or due to problems with vision or speech, the individual will gradually experience a loss of initiation in activities, which will be followed by a social decline. It is important to take this symptom seriously and not ward it off as reduced social desires.

Changes in judgment 

Those with brain cancer may find it increasingly hard to take small decisions, which they easily did before.

A longer time will be required for activities of daily routine due to these slower judgments.

Pain on moving the head

As the size of the cancer grows within the brain, you may find it immensely painful to move your head to the side or look upwards or perform other actions. This will often be accompanied by an altered perception of touch and pressure .

You must note that all the listed signs and symptoms of brain cancer are not very peculiar and may have a plethora of differential diagnosis. It is important to take each symptom seriously and seek medical attention immediately to rule out or diagnose brain cancer at the earliest.

If you want book an appoinment you can also consult with our Brain cancer doctor in gurgaon

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Sunny Garg
Dr. Sunny Garg

Best Oncologist in Gurgaon & Cancer Specialist - Oncoexperts

Dr Sunny Garg is a renowned Medical Oncologist in New Delhi with an experience of more than 10 years of treating cancer patients.

He has studied in one of the most reputed educational institutes of India. He has done his MBBS and MD Internal Medicine from Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University. Thereafter, he has undergone training in Medical Oncology (DM Medical Oncology) from Kidwai Memorial Institute of Oncology, Bengaluru. He has worked in leading cancer centers in Delhi, and currently practicing at Manipal Hospital, Dwarka, New Delhi.

Dr Sunny Garg has extensive knowledge and experience in the field of oncology, and has treated all cancer types, in various stages, including hard to treat cases. He is well versed with various modalities for cancer treatment like Chemotherapy, Immunotherapy, Targeted Therapy, Hormonal Therapy and Personalised Cancer Therapy.