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World Brain Tumour Day 2023: Is headache the first sign of brain tumour?

Headaches are a common symptom experienced by many individuals and can be caused by various factors, including tension, stress, sinus issues, migraines, or other medical conditions. However, in case it becomes persistent in nature, there is a possibility of any major health condition including a brain tumour. Brain tumours are abnormal growth or mass of cells in the brain. It can develop from brain tissue itself or from cells that have spread to the brain from other parts of the body.

Headaches are common and can be caused by a variety of factors such as stress, dehydration, or lack of sleep. However, headaches can also be a symptom of brain tumours. While it’s true that headaches are one of the most common symptoms associated with brain cancer, they are not always the first indicator.

Is headache the first sign of brain tumour?

In fact, it’s rare for someone to have only a headache as their first sign of a brain tumour. When this does occur, the headache is usually accompanied by other symptoms like nausea and vomiting. It’s important to note that these symptoms alone don’t necessarily mean that having a tumour; they could also be indicative of less serious issues like migraines.

The experience persistent headaches or any other unusual symptoms such as seizures or changes in vision, it’s essential to seek medical attention immediately. Early detection is crucial when dealing with brain tumours since early treatment increases your chances of successful recovery.

Remember that while headaches may sometimes indicate something more serious than just being tired or stressed out, there’s no need to panic right away.

What are brain tumours?

Brain tumours are abnormal growths or mass of cells that form in the brain. These masses can be either cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). The exact cause of brain tumours is still unknown, but they can develop as a result of genetic mutations, exposure to radiation, and other environmental factors.

There are different types of brain tumours which vary according to their location within the brain and how aggressively they grow. Primary brain tumours originate from the cells within the brain while secondary or metastatic tumours spread from other parts of the body.

Symptoms associated with a brain tumor depend on its size, location, and rate of growth. Common symptoms include headaches, seizures, visual disturbances such as blurred vision or double vision as well as speech difficulties and loss of coordination.

Treatment for a brain tumour may involve surgery if it’s accessible; chemotherapy to kill cancer cells through medication; radiation therapy that uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells; targeted drug treatment among others.

If left untreated over time, these tumours can lead to severe complications such as permanent neurological damage including difficulty with speech and memory problems.

Symptoms of brain tumours

  • Brain tumours can cause a variety of symptoms, depending on the location and size of the tumour. The symptoms can develop gradually or suddenly, and some people may not experience any symptoms at all.
  • One common symptom is headaches, which are usually severe in nature and occur frequently. However, it’s important to note that headaches alone do not necessarily indicate a brain tumour.
  • Other potential symptoms include seizures, changes in vision or hearing, difficulty speaking or understanding language, weakness, or numbness on one side of the body, unexplained nausea or vomiting and personality changes.
  • In some cases, brain tumours can also cause hormonal imbalances leading to weight gain/loss and changes in menstrual cycles for women. It’s important to note that these symptoms are not exclusive to brain tumours but could be caused by other medical conditions as well.
  • Experiencing any concerning symptoms that persist over time – especially if they impact daily life – seek advice from the doctor who may refer for further investigations such as MRI scans. Early detection ensures better treatment outcomes.

Treatment for brain tumour


Surgery is usually the first treatment option that doctors recommend for this brain issue, especially if it is located in an area that can be safely reached by surgery. The goal is to remove as much of the cancer as feasible without damaging the surrounding brain tissue.

Radiation treatment

It employs high-energy radiation beams to kill cancer cells and shrink tumours. It can be used after surgery to eliminate any leftover cancer cells, or it can be used as the primary treatment for tumours that cannot be removed surgically.


It employs chemicals to kill cancer cells and can be used alone or in conjunction with other therapies.

People with this condition may benefit from pain treatment, anti-seizure drugs, and physical therapy to manage symptoms and enhance quality of life.

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