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Brain Tumor Headache


The classic brain tumor headache—early morning pain, dull and aching quality, nausea, vomiting, and aggravated by body position—does not really exist," stated Dr. Balmaceda, who is also a member of the Brain Tumor Center at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. Moreover, while the majority of patients with brain tumors experience headaches at some point in their illness, only about 8% of patients have headache as a first and isolated symptom

Most brain tumors are accompanied by neurological signs and symptoms such as seizures, personality change or weakness as well as headache. Any type of exertional headache, i.e., a headache that develops after running, coughing, sneezing, bowel movement, etc., should be investigated to make sure there’s no tumor in the brain.

Headaches caused by brain tumors may vary depending on the location, and many different features.

  • Steady and worse upon waking in the morning and clears up within a few hours
  • Persistent non-migraine headache that occurs while sleeping and is also accompanied by at least one other symptom (such as vomiting or confusion)
  • May or may not be throbbing, depending on location of the tumor
  • Accompanied by double vision, weakness, or numbness
  • May worsen with coughing or exercise or with a change in body position
  • Sometimes accompanied by neck pain

Before You See a Doctor
When it is time to seek non-urgent help, take the following steps to prepare for a visit with the doctor. By educating yourself on various types of headaches, symptoms and treatment, and by being prepared for healthcare professionals' questions, you'll get the most out of an initial evaluation.

Diagnosis and Treatment for Brain tumor headache

Doctors consider the possibility of a brain tumor in people who have had a seizure for the first time or who have the characteristic symptoms. Although doctors can often detect brain dysfunction by performing a physical examination, other procedures are needed to diagnose a brain tumor.

Treatment may involve radiation, chemotherapy, and/or surgery.

Sometimes crying or laughing
are the only options left,
and laughing feels better right now.

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