Brain Cancer Symptoms & Risk Factors

Because we don’t know why most brain tumors begin, we do not know how to prevent them, and, currently, there isn't a screening test for early detection.

However, people with certain rare genetic disorders should be aware that they may be at risk for some brain tumors: Li-Fraumeni syndrome and neurofibromatosis type 1 increase the risk of glioma; von Hippel-Lindau disease increases the risk of hemangioblastoma; tuberous sclerosis increases the risk of astrocytoma; and neurofibromatosis type 2 increases the risk of acoustic neuroma and meningioma.

Different parts of the brain govern different functions of the body, so symptoms of a brain tumor are usually related to the location of the tumor, in addition to its size.

Symptoms of brain tumors and disorders may include:

  • Headaches (usually daily and worse in the morning)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Changes in speech, vision, or hearing
  • Problems balancing or walking
  • Changes in mood, personality, or ability to concentrate
  • Problems with memory
  • Muscle jerking or twitching (seizures or convulsions)
  • Numbness, weakness, or tingling in the arms, legs or face

These symptoms are usually not caused by a brain tumor, but if you experience any of them, see your doctor.