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Symptoms based on tumour location in the brain

Symptoms of a brain tumour can vary depending on the tumour's location.

The brain is divided into two halves called the right and left hemispheres. The brain can also be divided into four areas known as lobes (frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital) plus two other important areas called the brain stem and the cerebellum.

The presence of a brain tumour can cause damage to healthy brain tissue, disrupting the normal function of that area.

Remember that many of the symptoms due to raised intracranial pressure (ICP) can be caused by other medical conditions. So if you are experiencing these symptoms, it does not necessarily mean you have a brain tumour.

Location

Frontal lobe

A brain tumour located in the frontal lobe may cause difficulty with:

  • concentrating
  • speaking and communicating
  • controlling emotions and behaviour
  • learning new information
  • lack of inhibition (making inappropriate comments during conversation or laughing in inappropriate situations)
  • weakness on the opposite side of the body from the tumour
  • loss of smell.

Temporal lobe

A brain tumour located in the temporal lobe may cause difficulty with:

  • hearing
  • speaking
  • identifying and categorising objects
  • learning new information
  • correctly identifying emotions in others
  • memory loss
  • seizures or blackouts
  • sensations of strange smells.

Parietal lobe

A brain tumour located in the parietal lobe may cause difficulty with:

  • bringing together information from your different senses (touch, vision, hearing, smell, taste) and making sense of it
  • co-ordinating movements
  • spatial awareness e.g. judging distances, hand-eye co-ordination
  • speaking, understanding words, writing and reading
  • numbness on the opposite side of the body from the tumour.

Occipital lobe

A brain tumour located in the occipital lobe may cause:

  • difficulty with vision e.g. identifying objects or colours
  • loss of vision on one side.

Cerebellum

A brain tumour located in the cerebellum may cause:

  • difficulty with balance
  • loss of co-ordination
  • difficulty walking and speaking
  • flickering of the eyes
  • vomiting
  • stiff neck
  • problems with dexterity (skills in using your hands).

Brain stem

A tumour located in the brain stem may cause:

  • unsteadiness and difficulty walking
  • facial weakness
  • double vision
  • difficulty speaking and swallowing.