Brain Tumor Warning Signs

Symptoms of brain tumors vary depending on the type, size, and exact location in the brain.

Signs of brain metastases

Here’s surprising fact: The most common brain tumors don’t actually start in the brain. Brain metastases, or metastatic brain tumors, spread to the brain from other parts of the body — most often from the lungs, breasts, skin, kidneys or colon.

Warning Signs

Over your lifetime, the odds of developing a cancerous brain tumor are less than 1%. Usually, symptoms like a headache or confusion are just your body’s way of telling you to hydrate or sleep more.


A tumor can make the brain’s neurons fire wildly, leading to seizures.


Brain stem tumors may lead to a loss of balance or clumsy movements.

Limb weakness

Losing strength or weakness in an arm or leg may be a brain tumor symptom.

Changes in your mental status

Perhaps you’ve had confusion, one too many “senior moments” or more trouble than usual figuring out a restaurant bill. Your mental abilities are personal to you — and so are any changes to them.

Personality or behavioral changes

“Frontal lobe tumors, in particular, can cause happy, bubbly people to develop a flat affect or cause some normally quiet people to become more talkative,” explains Dr. Ahluwalia. “They can also cause a loss of inhibition.”


“But most headaches are not the result of a brain tumor,” Dr. Ahluwalia assures. “Brain tumor headaches tend to persist for more than a few days, are associated with nausea or vomiting or occur early in the morning.”

Avoid smoking