We as a species are capable of some incredible things. Over the millennia we have tamed fire, mapped the stars, discovered new lands, create math and sciences. We have developed societies and laws; we have created industry and trade, and we have learned so much about ourselves and our bodies that we no longer are at the total whim of our environment. However, knowing as we do that we are certainly not the only living creature on this earth, it begs the question why were we the only ones to do it? The answer is simple and yet, more intricate than anything we could ever create ourselves – our brains.
Every animal that you could think of – from birds, mammals, fish, amphibians and reptiles, has a brain. And while our brains are not the largest, it does separate us from them in its abilities.
Our brains are responsible for controlling our bodies’ temperature, our blood pressure, and our breathing. And while that alone is impressive, it does it without a conscious effort as an automatic function.
The brain is constantly taking in a flood of information about the world around us by using our various senses (seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching). It is responsible for our physical movements, like walking, talking, sitting and standing.
And while the above is certainly very awe-inspiring in its own right, what really separates us from the animals is that our brains allow us to think, to dream, to reason and to experience emotions.
If it wasn’t so already, by now it should be clear how important our brains, literally the ‘boss’ of our body is. However, what happens when something goes wrong?
For almost as long as mankind has existed, a connection has been understood between who we are and what we can do; and our brains. Injury, mental illness, surgical complications, and various other ailments; viral and bacterial can all impact the brain. And while daunting and serious in their own right, one of the biggest and most complex conditions not only a person’s brain can have, but the person on the whole, is a brain tumor.
At this point you might be wondering why we choose to refer to it is a brain ‘tumor’ and not brain ‘cancer,’ much like other types of maladies. Well, a brain tumor is a collection, or mass, of abnormal cells in your brain. Your skull, which encloses your brain, is very rigid. Any growth in such a restricted space can cause problems. Brain tumors can be cancerous (malignant) or non-cancerous (benign). So you see, cancerous or a not, a brain tumor is a very, serious and often life-threatening illness.
While many ailments present themselves in outward ways, when dealing with your internal organs; your brain specifically, you might not be aware of the signs and symptoms unless you knew what to look out for.
Nobody knows why people get brain tumors, but it is in early detection and treatment that leads to the greatest success in recovery. So with that mind, here are the top 10 signs of a brain tumor.
Headaches are one of the most common symptoms of just about every sickness, disease, injury or infection, which is a further testament to how important the brain is. However, this can make it very difficult for you and even doctors to tell the difference between a headache that is caused by a brain tumor and one that is the result of another cause.
“The best indicator is a new daily headache that won’t seem to go away,” says Mike Chen, MD, PhD, associate professor, division of neurosurgery, department of surgery at City of Hope. “These headaches tend to get worse over time and are often present when you wake up in the morning, when intracranial pressure is high from lying in bed for hour-long periods of time.”
Needless to say, if you are experiencing these types of headaches it is advisable that you see your doctor immediately.