Headache Signaling Brain Tumor

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Headache is a sign and symptom of various routine and chronic ailments. Even in Brain Tumor the first pain that patient suffers is headache.

How the headache due to brain tumor occurs?

The intensity of headache depends upon the size, growth, type and location of the tumor. When the brain tumor compresses the vital functioning organs in the skull like veins & arteries, nerve fibers, wall of the skull, surrounding brain structure, particular patterns of headaches are triggered.

Brain swelling occurs in the area where tumor develops. This leads to intracranial pressure called ICP. It is the pressure exerted on the brain tissues and cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain.

The Headache of Brain Tumor comes along with a many other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, etc. Also the person may experiences seizures or body convulsions, post which the headache reduces and weakness persists in the body.

Difference from Migraine headache

Not most of the headaches can be associated with brain tumor. But 50% of the patients out of all diagnosed with brain tumor had experienced severe or minor headaches.

The headache of migraine and brain tumor is quite identical. Even in migraine people face nausea. But migraine pains do not lead to seizures or loss of control. Several body changes in patient should also noticed like numbness in limbs, dizziness, vomiting, loss of sensory control, etc. The best advice here can be sought from a neurologist. It’s a specialist only who can identify the difference, clearly diagnose and figure out the nature and cause of the headache. Migraines are very common and not much to be worried about. Whereas, Brain Tumor is life-threatening and needs immediate treatment.

Characteristics of headache in Brain Tumor

The basic nature of brain tumor headache can be linked to the following:-

  • Peculiar permanent dull headache
  • Sometimes the headache goes throbbing and unbearable
  • Pain that steadily begins on waking up and continues for a few hours
  • Headache that increases and worsens on coughing, sneezing, head movement or change in body posture.
  • This kind of pain usually does not get cured to the generic headache medication or remedies

The Brain Tumor Headache is not an individual symptom but it occurs along with other neurological symptoms like:

  • Flexing of face or limb muscles, even also jerking, full body convulsions.
  • Disruptions and changes in sensory organs like altered vision or hearing
  • Weakness or numbness in arms and legs
  • Slurred speech, uncontrolled facial expression
  • Vomiting
  • ​​Partial/ momentary/ time lapse memory loss
  • Emotional imbalance with abrupt changes in mood, aggression

With the growth of tumor the frequency and intensity of headache increases. During headache, lying down, resting or relaxing worsens the ache.

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, refer to your doctor, immediately. Various tests, questions and examinations will be done to understand the nature of ailment and family history.

About author

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Dr. Dinesh Rattnani

Dr. Rattnani is experienced in performing various minimally invasive procedures of spine like microdisectomy & TLIF, removal of spinal tumor with tubular or port system. He is also experienced in performing endoscopic brain surgeries like pituitary tumor ,3rd ventriculostomy and minimally invasive surgeries like brain tumors removal hematoma evacuation, aneurysm clipping & vast experience in performing head injuries

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