Since a brain tumor stays fixed in place, it stands to reason that once you get symptoms, they will be constant.
Or might they actually come and go?
It’s not uncommon for a person who fears they might have a brain tumor to adopt the following line of logic:
My symptoms aren’t always there. They come and go. A brain tumor stays in the same place, so once it starts causing symptoms, they’d be continuous, there all the time. Since my symptoms are sometimes absent, then this must mean I don’t have a brain tumor.
What to Know About Brain Tumor Symptoms
“Brain tumor symptoms can be episodic (come and go),” says Sumeer Sathi, MD, a neurosurgeon and founding member of Long Island Neuroscience Specialists who treats brain tumors.
“Symptoms do not always have to be constant. For example, nausea and vomiting may come and go.
“If a person has a full stomach, the nausea may present as vomiting.
“If their stomach is empty, nausea can present as dry heaves.”
Not all symptoms of a brain tumor can come and go, however.
Weakness, Drooping Eyelid, Slurred Speech
“Symptoms can vary in presentation,” continues Dr. Sathi.
“Some may be episodic and some may be more persistent.
“Typically, weakness, ptosis and slurred speech do not come and go.”
Ptosis refers to a drooping eyelid, as depicted in the image below.
“These symptoms usually result from injury to nerve cells,” says Dr. Sathi.
“The symptoms may improve over time, but will not likely be intermittent.”
Dr. Sathi’s expertise includes spine surgery and treating brain tumors including metastasis, gliomas, meningiomas and acoustic neuromas using gamma knife radiosurgery. Long Island Neuroscience Specialists is a multidisciplinary group of neuro-spine surgeons and an interventional pain management anesthesiologist.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.