8 Silent Signs You Could Have a Brain Tumor

Weakness and lethargy

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The motor cortex of the brain initiates and controls muscle movement throughout the body. "The right motor cortex controls the left side of your body and the left motor cortex controls the right side of your body," says Dr. Chen. If there are tumors anywhere along this pathway, these signals are completely disrupted and the result is loss of function." If you have a brain tumor, you may not experience pain in your limbs, but your left or right leg or arm may not respond the way you're used to—or at all. Weak legs may also mean that you have a vitamin D deficiency. Don't miss these 13 subtle signs of cancer that men are likely to ignore.

Difficulty forming words

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Another of the common brain tumor symptoms is slurred or stuttering speech. "Language problems such as stuttering, difficulty naming objects or understanding what others are saying are key symptoms of a tumor in the frontal or temporal lobes, areas of the brain associated with motor function of speech and language comprehension," says Dr. Carrubba. "There are two speech centers in the brain that are located on the left side: Wernicke's area, which allows us to understand and comprehend speech, and Broca's area, which activates the muscles that create sound." When a tumor is present in the brain, both abilities are often obstructed.

Moody feelings and risky behavior

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"Patients suffering from a brain tumor may develop depression, anger or anxiety, even if they don't commonly exhibit these types of emotions," says Sumeet Vadera, MD, neurosurgeon at the University of California, Irvine. "This is related to tumor irritation or compression of portions of the frontal lobe, which is responsible for many of our personality traits." Patients may also experience changes in behavior, including becoming more angry or agitated, meddling in more risky behaviors, acting overtly sexual, or showing loss of inhibition. "A large, slowly growing tumor in the frontal lobe can even alter personality and judgment so far as to be mistaken for criminal behavior or psychiatric problems," says Dr. Chen.

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