Brain metastases are the condition characterized by the spread of tumor from any other organ to brain. The symptoms presented by the tumor depend upon the site of tumor and its shape.
What Are The Symptoms Of Brain Metastases?
The symptoms of the brain metastases depend upon the site at which the tumor is present. The tumor may interfere in the function of particular area of the brain and causes the symptoms. Following are the various symptoms related to brain metastases:
Seizures. Brain tumor may cause seizures. Seizures are the condition in which the brain sends abnormal electrical signals that may cause muscular twitching. In this condition the tumor may cause the imbalance in the chemicals responsible for nerve conduction.
Headache. As the tumor creates pressure inside the brain and compresses the normal brain tissues, the patient may experience headache. Headache may occur due to the presence of tumor in any part of the brain.
Dementia. Sudden changes in cognitive functions are experienced due to brain tumor. Poor concentration, intellectual decline and social withdrawals are other features that may be caused by tumor.
Dizziness. The symptoms of brain metastases may also include nausea and vomiting and persistent room spinning. This may be due to the pressure created in that part of the brain which is responsible for balancing.
Weakness Or Numbness. Brain metastases also causes weakness in either one side of the body or on the whole body. If the tumor is present in the cranial nerves, facial muscles are weakened. Brain tumor also cause numbness or paralysis or may also responsible for neuropathic pain.
Abnormal Bowel Movement. If the brain metastases tumor affects the muscles required for regulating the bowel movement, the patient experiences abnormal bowel movement. The person may experience either constipation or diarrhea.
Difficulty Breathing. If the brain metastases tumor is present near the respiratory center and reduces its function, the patient mat experience difficulty breathing. More severe reduction in the center may cause respiratory depression.
Problems With Speech. Brain metastases tumor, if present near the part of the brain controlling the sound and language, causes speech problems.
Swallowing Problems. The muscles required for swelling the food as well the functioning of glottis and epiglottis may also be affected by tumor leading to problem in swallowing.
Vision Changes. Depending on the site and shape of the tumor, various vision changes may occur. If the tumor is located near optic nerve, there might be blurred or double vision. The tumor may also have an impact on ocular muscles.
Hormonal Disorders. Pituitary gland, present in the brain, is responsible for regulation of various hormones, especially reproductive hormones. Tumor affecting the activity of this gland results in hormonal imbalance.
When the cancer originates at one place and spreads to another place, the process is known as metastasis. There are two genes present in the cells. One is the tumor suppressor gene and the other is onco-gene. Both of these genes work in coordination with one another and thus the division of cell is done at the required rate. Due to mutation, either the tumor suppressor gene lost its ability, or the onco-gene becomes more dominating, and the division of cell takes place at rapid rate. This rapid division of cell is known as cancer.
Cancer does not allow the organ to perform its function and once the cancer cells are spread to other organs, the condition becomes complex and difficult to treat. Brain metastases are defined as the spread of the cancer cells to the brain from other organs. Generally, brain metastases are the primary cause of brain tumor. Primary Brain cancer is uncommon. The prognosis of brain tumor depends upon the site of tumor. Prognosis of brain metastases is not favorable, and the treatment is done to increase the life of the patient or to improve the quality of life.
Various symptoms are experienced by the patient suffering from tumor. It is not necessary that all the symptoms are presented by a single parent as the symptoms depends upon the area in the brain affected by tumor. Symptoms include seizures, dizziness, breathing problems, swallowing problems, speech problems and decline in cognitive ability.