Symptoms of Brain and Spinal Tumors

Brain and spinal tumors may cause a variety of symptoms, depending on their type and location. Possible symptoms of a brain tumor include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Personality changes
  • Irritability
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Vision changes
  • Slurred speech
  • Paralysis or weakness
  • Problems with walking and coordination
  • Weakness
  • Numbness
  • Memory loss

Spinal tumors may cause back or neck pain at the site of the tumor. If a tumor begins to compress the spinal cord, it also may cause loss of sensation, muscle weakness, shooting pain in an arm or leg, or bladder and bowel problems. Some slow-growing spinal tumors cause pain for years before they cause neurological symptoms. Tumors that affect the stability of the vertebrae may cause painful vertebral fractures.

Since these symptoms may be caused by conditions other than cancer, patients should see their healthcare providers to determine the cause.