Brain tumor or migraine?

A headache is the most common symptom for many health conditions. According to World Health Organization, around 47% of the population has a headache at least once per year.


A migraine isn’t just a simple headache. It’s manifesting with very intense pain around the eye temples and forehead. This extreme pain can last from several hours up to few days. Besides the pain, migraine may include some other symptoms such as light or noise sensitivity, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, or vision problems.

Migraines are more often among women than men. Children are also affected by this unpleasant disease. According to the statistic, about 5% of the children have a migraine. After the puberty, migraine is more common for girls than boys.

Early signs of a migraine

Aura is an early sign of a migraine. About 20% of people suffering from a migraine before the first migraine symptoms experience an aura. Other symptoms are seeing flashes of light, wavy lines and dots. Sometimes blurred vision is the first sign of a migraine.

Some people may feel strange flavor (smell or taste), tiredness and muscle tension. Other early sign of a migraine is continuous yawning.

Up to 24 hours before the migraine appearance, some people may get mood swings and to become excited, bad-tempered or depressed.

Brain tumor

You shouldn’t panic or suspect that you may have a brain tumor if you have a headache. Remember that headache is the common symptom of different health conditions. But, yes headache may be a sign of a brain tumor. The good news is the fact that this probability is very low. Statistically, 90% of the headaches aren’t connected with the brain tumor. On the other hand, brain tumors sometimes aren’t followed with a headache. Although all age groups have chances of developing a brain tumor, it’s more common among children and elderly people.

When Should You Go to the Doctor?

Heavy nausea, especially in the morning may indicate a brain tumor. Next, sleepiness is usually a late symptom of a brain tumor. As the tumor grows the pressure in the head increases and you will want to sleep more than usual. Go to the doctor if you have the following symptoms:

  • Very strong headache, especially when you wake up,
  • A strange headache that you haven’t experienced before,
  • You have frequent headaches,
  • You have a headache and nausea at the same time,
  • A long-lasting headache.

If your doctor suspects that you may have a brain tumor, further analyses are necessary. Brain scanning with magnetic resonance (MRI) and tomography are usually radiological procedures for diagnosing the brain tumor. These diagnosing methods not only reveal the existence of the brain tumor, but they can precisely determine the biological nature of the brain tumor and its location. For diagnose verifying, your doctor can send you to make another diagnostic test – PET scan (Positron emission tomography).

So, if the tests confirm that you have a brain tumor you must have a surgery. If you have a benign brain tumor it should be removed, but if you have a malignant tumor despite its removal, you should make x-ray therapy and cytostatic therapy.