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Brain Tumors In Teens

Published: October 29, 2002
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I think I may have a brain tumor and I was wondering how common they are in teens and what some of the symptoms are.
Signed: Brain Tumors In Teens

Dear Brain Tumors In Teens,

 

Thankfully, brain tumors are not very common in young people. In fact, each year, only 2200 children in the United States are found to have a brain tumor as compared to nearly 180,000 adults as reported by the American Brain Tumor Association.

 

According to the National Cancer Institute, the symptoms of brain tumors depend mainly on their size and their location in the brain and are primarily caused by damage to vital tissue and by pressure on the brain as the tumor grows within the limited space in the skull. They also may be caused by swelling and a buildup of fluid around the tumor, a condition called edema. Symptoms may also be due to hydrocephalus, which occurs when the tumor blocks the flow of cerebrospinal fluid and causes it to build up in the ventricles. If a brain tumor grows very slowly, its symptoms may appear so gradually that they are overlooked for a long time.

 

The most frequent symptoms of brain tumors include:

  • Headaches that tend to be worse in the morning and ease during the day
  • Seizures (convulsions)
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Weakness or loss of feeling in the arms or legs
  • Stumbling or lack of coordination in walking (ataxic gait)
  • Abnormal eye movements or changes in vision
  • Drowsiness
  • Changes in personality or memory
  • Changes in speech

These symptoms may be caused by brain tumors or by other problems and only a doctor can make a diagnosis. If you are experiencing any of them, please contact your doctor right away. If you don not feel comfortable seeing your family physician, and would like to meet with a doctor from the Adolescent/Young adult Center For Health in Morristown, New Jersey, you can call 973.971.6475 for an appointment.

Lastly, there are many organizations dedicated to providing quality information on cancer.

 

If you would like to lean more, try visiting one of their websites:

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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