May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month

brain_cancer2Brain tumors are the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in:

  • Children under age 20
  • Males up to age 39
  • Females under age 20

Every day nine families across America learn that their child has a brain or spinal cord tumor and three families will mourn a child they lost to a brain or spinal cord tumor. Brain cancer has a wide variety of symptoms including seizures, sleepiness, confusion, and behavioral changes. The signs and symptoms of a brain tumor vary greatly and depend on the brain tumor’s size, location and rate of growth and age of the patient. General signs and symptoms caused by brain tumors may include:

  • New onset or change in pattern of headaches
  • Headaches that gradually become more frequent and more severe
  • Unexplained nausea or vomiting
  • Vision problems, such as blurred vision, double vision or loss of peripheral vision
  • Gradual loss of sensation or movement in an arm or a leg
  • Difficulty with balance
  • Speech difficulties
  • Confusion in everyday matters
  • Personality or behavior changes
  • Seizures, especially in someone who doesn’t have a history of seizures
  • Hearing problems

Support Organizations: The Brain Tumor Foundation’s focus on early detection with an MRI. (My 31-year-old daughter was recently diagnosed with a 6 cm astrocytoma. The neurosurgeon told us the tumor has been there for years. She didn’t start showing any symptoms until she had some seizures the week before she was admitted to the hospital. The MRI and CT scan revealed her brain tumor was the cause of the seizures.) The National Brain Tumor Society takes issues to capital hill and raised money for research programs. Children’s Brain Tumor Foundation states their mission is to improve treatment and quality of life of those children affected with brain tumors. The Childhood Brain Tumor Foundation create awareness and raise money for pediatric brain tumor research. The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation is dedicated to eradicating brain tumors and supporting affected families. National Seizure Disorder Foundation – a large percentage of brain tumor patients experience seizures. This organization can help in that area. Brain Tumor Clinic at National Cancer Institute Information on Brain Tumor Vaccines