It must be kept in mind that although headache is a presenting symptom of certain brain tumors, it is a fairly late feature of the disease. It may not be present in many of the early cases of brain tumor. The brain brain tumor should be diagnosed long before the headache appears, keeping in view the various symptoms with which a brain tumor presents initially, and for which the sufferer is expected to consult his physician for the early diagnosis or exclusion of a brain tumor. An urgent computed tomographic (CT) scan or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is usually required for a precise diagnosis. However, severe recurrent heads with or without vomiting, increasing by coughing / stooping, is an important warning signal of brain tumor. It may also be noted that vomiting as well as papilloedema (which the neurologist / ophthalmologist confirms after examining the fundi with the help of ophthalmoscope) are late manifestations of brain tumor. Beside headache, some of the other presenting symptoms of the brain tumor which must be kept in mind by the masses are given below:
(i) Epileptic attacks
If the epileptic attacks occur after the adult age and / or are not controlled or increase in frequency even with the administration of antiepileptic drugs, the possibility of a brain tumor must be suspected.
(ii) Neurological deficiencies
Various neurological deficits like visual-field defects, or impaired vision in one or both eyes, squint, diplopia (double vision); tinnitus (ringing in ears) particularly in one of the ears, unilateral deafness; loss of smell (anosmia), especially on one side; difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia), nasal regurgitation; weakness in one of the limbs or of the limbs of the same side; difficulty in speech, including reading and writing; unsteadiness in legs while walking, or in hands while doing some work; tremors, stiffness or involuntary movements, etc., should be kept in mind.
(iii) Unexplained psychological symptoms:
Like depression, loss of memory, sudden change in personality / behavior, etc. are also important to bear in mind.