Brain Cancer
Brain Cancer

Can change the way people think, hear, or act

Brain Cancer

Brain Cancers are slightly more common in men than in women, and can cause personality changes.

Brain Cancer is a nasty one. It’s been known to affect the way people think, hear or act. Depending where the tumour is, it can even sometimes cause personality changes too, which can make the situation more traumatic for you and those around you.

Brain tumours are a bit more common in men than they are in women, but not all brain tumours are dangerous. Brain tumours are graded 1 to 4, with the grade depending on how fast they grow and how likely they are to spread.

Grade 1 or 2 brain tumours are usually benign (non-cancerous), they grow slowly and you don’t generally need to worry about them spreading.

Grade 3 or 4 brain tumours (also known as malignant tumours) are cancerous. These ones often grow quickly and can spread to other parts of the brain and spinal cord. These types of brain tumours need to be treated as soon as possible to stop them from spreading and damaging more of the brain and spinal cord.

13th most common Cancer for men

4,500 men are diagnosed with a brain tumour in the UK each year

14 in every 100,000 males in the UK will develop a brain tumour in their lives

41% of men are expected to survive a brain tumour at least 1 year, with it dropping to 14% who survive more than five years and 9% who survive 10 years or more


Brain Cancer can affect anyone at any age, but the chances of developing one increase as you get older.

There’s been a lot of talk over the years that things such as mobile phones and power lines can cause brain tumours. However, a lot of research has been done into this, and so far there is no firm evidence to suggest these can increase the risk of developing a brain tumour.

There’s only one definite risk factor we know about for Brain Cancer, and that’s radiation. This can sometimes be from radiotherapy, CT scans, or X-rays to the head. Though, don’t let this stop you from getting X-rays or CT scans, as these are important in diagnosing problems – and your doctor will keep the amount they expose you to radiation as low as possible.


The symptoms of a brain tumour can depend on how big it is and the where it is in the brain, but if you experience any of these symptoms, don’t hang around – get yourself checked out straight away.

Common symptoms of brain tumours can include:

  • Feeling/being sick: You may feel nauseous, especially when you change position (e.g. going from sitting or lying to standing)
  • Headaches: This is usually dull and constant, and sometimes throbbing
  • Seizures: These can include muscle spasms, such as twitching or jerking of an arm or leg, or whole body spasms
  • Drowsiness: Sleeping more or dropping off during the day when you wouldn’t normally

Depending on the position of the tumour, you could also experience personality or intellect changes, or find your speech, understanding, coordination or vision affected.


If you notice any of the symptoms above, get yourself down to your GP. They’ll examine you, and if necessary, refer you to a specialist. Brain tumours can also sometimes be diagnosed during eye tests at opticians too.

Initial hospital test can include giving your nervous system a workout. This might mean:

  • Mental exercises (you might feel like you’re back in maths class)
  • Testing your eyes (this is the having a light shone into your peepers one)
  • Hearing tests
  • Facial muscle tests (give us a smile, or your best angry face)
  • Testing your reflexes
  • Seeing if you can feel pinpricks on areas of skin
  • Checking your balance and coordination (best not turn up drunk then)

If the doctor suspects something may be amiss, you may also have an MRI or CT scan to allow the doctor to confirm the diagnosis.

Other Cancer Types: