Video:How to Know if a Headache Is a Symptom of a Brain Tumorwith Dr. Bob Lahita
The presentation of a brain tumor with a severe headache is not common, however, in severe cases, it can sometimes indicate that. In this video from About.com, learn about the correlation between a headache and brain tumor.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Know if a Headache Is a Symptom of a Brain Tumor
Hi I'm Dr. Bob Lahita, Chairman of Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. I'm talking to you today about headaches and brain tumors.
Confusing Common Headaches with Brain Tumors
Unfortunately, it is often found that patients who have unrelenting, severe headaches have brain tumors - but it is very rare. I have to tell you that more often than not, patients that develop brain tumors have changes in behavior, or will suddenly lose the ability to speak.
The presentation of a brain tumor with a severe headache is not very common. Headaches on the other hand, are common. People get tension headaches, they get headaches from high blood pressure, they have things called migraine headaches which can result in all sorts of symptoms from nausea and vomiting, to blindness in one or both eyes, to strange dreams, to hallucinations and to passing out. But the patients that have headaches with a brain tumor usually have other accompanying symptoms.
What a Headache Feels like with a Brain Tumor
They may have visual disturbances which are long standing, they may have differences in taste, they may have an aura which is the smell of burning rubber or funny lights on objects and their behaviour might be strange as noted by friends or family members.
When a patient with a brain tumor is asked: "What is your headache like?" they will say "It's the worst headache I've ever had in my life." That is not the case for people with hyper-tension headaches and migraine headaches. Migraine headaches are bad all the time, but it's not the worst thing you've ever felt in your life. So that is really a very crude way of going to your doctor, telling him this, and having him or her make the diagnosis.
For more about this go to About.com.