A few years ago during a particullarly bad round of experimental chemo, I was experiencing severe vertigo, something I had only minorly experienced previously. I was so disoriented and dizzy that I was limited to laying on the couch and not much else. During this time I also had ringing in my ears, I was getting blinding pain in the back of my eye and blurry vision. I made an appointment to be seen and that is when I learned I had suffered a minor stroke. It wasn’t until two years later that my metastatic brain tumor (affectionately named Larry) was diagnosed. We now believe that Larry was the cause of my stroke.
Brain tumors, both primary brain (meaning they originate from the brain or nervous system) and metastatic brain tumors (meaning they originate elsewhere in the body like “Larry”) are on the rise. It is anticipated that nearly 80,000 people will be diagnosed with primary brain tumors this year, with nearly a third of those being malignant. With May being Brain Cancer Awareness Month we wanted to share with you some of the more common symptoms:
- Sensory (touch) and motor (movement control) loss
- Deep venous thrombosis (DVT, or blood clot)
- Hearing loss
- Vision loss
- Behavioral and cognitive (thinking) changes
- Endocrine dysfunction (hormone/gland changes)
If you or anyone you know is experiencing these symptoms, please seek help and do not ingnore the symptoms. Early detention can play a significant role in survival and overall quality of life.