Brain tumors come in all shapes and sizes, and so do the symptoms.

“The key to a tumor’s symptoms depends a lot on its location,” says Theodore Schwartz, MD, a neurosurgeon at the Weill Cornell Brain and Spine Center.

For example, if the tumor is near the part of the brain that controls vision in your hands or eyes, your symptoms may include limb weakness and blurred vision, says Dr. Schwartz. (Here are 6 reasons your vision may be changing and not just due to aging.)

Every cell in your brain can develop a tumor, and given that your brain monitors or interprets information from all parts of your body, the list of symptoms for a tumor can include “almost anything imaginable,” says Dr. Schwartz.

However, some signs and symptoms are more common than others. Here’s what to look out for.

(Find out the 5 best foods for your brain and other cutting-edge natural tips in Prevention’s Ageless Brain.)

Regardless of the type of tumor, seizures are often one of the first symptoms of the disease. “The stimulation of the tumor causes neurons [in the brain] to fire uncontrollably, and you have abnormal movements,” says Dr. Schwartz. Like cancer, seizures come in many forms. You may experience a full-body twitch, or twitching or bending in one limb or part of your face.

Dr. Schwartz says that clumsiness in your arms, legs, and hands may be a sign of trouble if you lose your keys, miss a step, or lose your balance. Speaking, swallowing, and controlling facial expressions are some of the ways clumsiness can manifest in or around the head, he added. (Is he in over his head? This is where you should be concerned.)

Like clumsiness, loss of sensation in any part of the body or face is something to be aware of, Dr. Schwartz. In particular, if a tumor develops in the brain stem, where your brain connects to your spinal cord, you may experience loss of sensation and clumsy movements.

Changes in memory or thinking
While it’s true that cancer can cause significant changes in a person’s behavior and personality, Dr. Schwartz says the dramatic changes you sometimes hear about or see in movies are rare. People with cancer are more likely to experience memory problems, confusion, and thinking problems, he said.

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