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Loss of taste and smell

Although it's rare, loss of taste and smell can be linked with brain tumours in certain parts of the brain.

Loss of taste and smell is something that's been spoken about a lot this year, as it's a key symptom of coronavirus (COVID-19) and one that can last for weeks or months in some cases. 

If you're experiencing a loss of taste or smell it's important that you follow Government guidelines.

Is loss of taste and smell a symptom of a brain tumour?

Loss of taste and smell may be connected with other health conditions, but, although it's rare, it could be linked to a brain tumour in certain parts of the brain.

For example,

  • a brain tumour in the frontal lobe could lead to loss of smell (as well as other symptoms, such as, difficulty with speaking, concentrating or learning new information)
  • a brain tumour in the temporal lobe could lead to sensations of strange smells (as well as other symptoms, such as, difficulty with hearing, speaking and memory loss)
  • a brain tumour in the parietal lobe could lead to difficulty bringing together information from your senses, including smell and taste (as well as other symptoms, such as, difficulty recognising faces or objects and coordinating movements).

Find out more

I think I have a brain tumour, what should I do?

Brain tumours are rare, however, if you're worried and a symptom persists or if you have more than one symptom of a brain tumour then:

  • Talk to your doctor
    GP appointments are usually quite short, so make sure you find out how to best prepare for your appointment.
  • Get an eye test
    If your symptoms are limited to changes in vision and/or headaches, get your eyes tested by an optician before seeing your GP.
  • Go to A&E
    If the symptoms are sudden or severe, you should go to your emergency department or call 999.

Should I speak to a doctor during the coronavirus pandemic?

We understand you may feel worried about seeking help from your GP during the coronavirus pandemic – but please don't delay speaking to a healthcare professional.

The NHS and your GP are still here for you and have made changes that make it easier to safely speak to a healthcare professional and get medical help if you need it.

It's more important than ever for you to prepare for your appointments by understanding what might happen during the appointment and what questions you want to ask.

Share your experiences and help create change

By taking part in our Improving Brain Tumour Care surveys and sharing your experiences, you can help us improve treatment and care for everyone affected by a brain tumour.