Frequent Headaches? Is It an Indication for Brain Tumor?
According to medical science, headaches are common symptoms of brain tumors. However, the majority of the headaches occur due to different other causes. World Health Organization confirms that more than 75% of the adults within the age group of 18 to 65 years are reported to have one headache. This report claims to be the worldwide access which confirms that it is a common medical occurrence.
WHO also claims that around 4% of the adult population worldwide has chronic headache disorder. Doctors also diagnose most people with spinal cord and brain cancer compared to this number. However, it is a confirmation that headaches do not directly indicate brain tumors. If you are experiencing a headache from time to time is more likely to be a rare medical emergency.
However, frequent headaches with severe intensity could be a reason for a brain tumor. We will discuss the difference between the headache-causing due to brain tumors and regular headaches. It is important to understand the signs of brain tumors and when it is important to see doctors.
The brain tumor is the reason for headaches?
According to medical research, more than 50% of people will experience headaches. However, the headache-causing by a brain tumor is entirely different from tension-type headaches or migraine headaches. Headaches are causing due to brain tumors or having different characteristics, which we have listed below.
- They are more intense and painful in the morning.
- They are highly persistent, mostly with people with no history of chronic headaches or severe headaches.
- Over time it worsens up.
- It can make a person wake up in the middle of the night.
- The headaches can last for several days or several weeks.
- It occurs along with vomiting.
- It worsens when the person changes position or person coughs.
We also need to remember that other conditions and factors can lead to headaches. Most importantly, they might also have similar characteristics to headaches caused by brain tumors. Sleep disorders such as bruxism, teeth grinding, insomnia, and sleep apnea, can also lead to morning headaches.
Symptoms and Signs of Brain Tumor:
Headaches caused by brain tumors are highly intense pain that most people confuse with hypertension, headaches, or migraine. However, several other symptoms are caused by brain tumors. These additional symptoms and a headache could be the major cause of brain tumors.
- Loss of appetite
- Unexplained weight loss
- Difficulty in walking
- Loss of coordination
- Frequent vomiting and nausea
- Difficulty in concentrating
- Problems with speech, hearing, vision
- Changes in mood and personality
Major Causes of Brain Tumors:
A tumor can occur in the brain due to the DNA of healthy cell changes or is commonly explained as mutating differently. This enables the cell to grow rapidly by defining the natural growth criteria. A brain tumor is explained as a mass of abnormal cells developing in different regions of the brain. Most brain tumors can form up in the brain without any particular cause.
Although the changes happen in the cells, DNA will also affect the genes that control cellular growth and division. Any person who is undergoing gene changes can also lead to cancer. Most importantly, any genetic changes happening in the body result from long-term exposure to different substances that damage DNA.
The major causes of such issues are mostly by different substances, including radiation and tobacco smoke. Any brain tumor can either be benign, non-cancerous, or malignant, which is cancerous. However, both types of brain tumors are responsible for increased pressure inside the skull. These are the major reason for the causes of fatigue, headache, or even coma.
Brain tumors could also have a long-lasting brain damage issue without proper treatment.
Other Causes of Headaches:
Headaches are common symptoms of brain tumors, although several headaches can also indicate cancer. Any person who is facing severe and frequent headaches has a headache disorder. It is most commonly known as tension headache or migraine headache. Even the international classification of headache disorders are included more than 150 distinct types of headaches in their list. There are several most common types, which we have explained below.
Migraine is one of the most common conditions that can happen to more than 1 billion people around the globe. The migraine episodes can range from different possible symptoms that can last for different periods. Depending on different conditions, they can stay for four hours to even two days. Several different symptoms are associated with headaches in this case.
- Throbbing and intense headache
- Sensitivity towards sound and light
According to medical research, more than 1/3 of the people are experiencing migraine episodes along with aura. It refers to physical, visual, and speech disturbances due to migraine episodes. We have listed the experiences and symptoms below.
- Slurred and mumbling speech
- Seeing black spots, flashing lights, or zigzag lines
- Feeling numbness in the face, body, or limbs along with the tingling sensation
- Tension Headaches:
Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches most people experience. These headaches range from mild to moderate pain around the head, behind the eyes, or neck. Tension headaches are mostly the result of muscle contraction in the neck and head. Different factors trigger muscle contraction in the following regions mentioned below.
- Alcohol or caffeine
- Emotional or physical stress
- Poor posture
- Cluster Headache:
Cluster headaches are recurring headaches that are highly severe and mostly cause stabbing or burning pain around one eye. These are the most unexpectedly developed headache and can last for 15 minutes or even three hours. The symptoms associated with cluster headaches are listed below.
- Sensitivity towards sound on light
- Swollen eyelid or drooping
- Congested or runny nose
- Watering or redness of the eye
Cluster headaches can occur daily anywhere and can be cured with proper medication. The actual cause of cluster headaches is completely unknown in medical history.
Exact Time to See the Doctor:
It is recommended to consult a doctor if any person faces severe or frequent headaches that are affecting their daily lives. It is important to notice the headaches’ changes in intensity and pattern. Every person should seek emergency medical attention if these of the following experience happens.
- Changes in behavior or personality
- Numbness or weakness in one side of the body
- Severe or sudden headache
- Unexpected problems of speech, vision, and hearing
A neurosurgeon can help in diagnosing the underlying causes of these severe headaches. They will also go through the medical history and the patient’s current symptoms. In a few cases, doctors can also consult MRI scans or CT scans in the brain. The treatment also includes an investigation of balance, vision, and hearing. If neurosurgeon finds a tumor in the brain or spinal cord, they will collect tissue samples.
Those will be sent to the laboratories for proper analysis. Lab technicians will determine the type and origin of the tumor by performing tests. This information is consulted with the doctor to get a better recommendation on the best treatment option.