This section is for teenagers and young adults. It’s about brain tumours.
We also have more info about:
If you’re looking for information about brain tumours in people of all ages, please see our general brain tumours section. We also have information about brain tumours in children.
Signs and symptoms
These depend on the size of the tumour, where it is and how it affects the messages sent by that part of the brain to other parts of the body.
There’s only a fixed amount of space in the skull for the brain. So as a tumour grows, there’s a rise in pressure in or around the brain (raised intracranial pressure) causing symptoms such as:
Headaches (often worse in the morning)
Vomiting (usually in the morning) or feeling sick
Feeling very irritated or losing interest in day-to-day stuff like friends, school or going out
Problems with your eyes like blurring or seeing double
I couldn't see properly it seemed as if I looked at a certain thing in the sky for instance like a bird, if I looked at it sort of sideways on I could make it disappear.
This is the experience of someone who was diagnosed with a brain tumour when he was 17.
Feeling extremely sleepy (drowsy) for no real reason.
Brain tumours can also cause problems with balance and walking, or weakness down one side of the body. Some tumours cause problems with speech or eyesight, or changes in personality.
There’s often a simple explanation for many of the symptoms we’ve mentioned. But if you have any of these or are worried, it’s important to see your family doctor (GP) straight away.
We don’t know the causes of most brain tumours, but research is going into this all the time.
Young people with certain rare conditions that run in families (known as genetic conditions), such as neurofibromatosis type 1 and neurofibromatosis type 2, have an increased chance of developing brain tumours.
There’s a lot in the news about whether using mobiles, or living near base stations or power lines are linked to brain tumours. But so far there’s no evidence that any of these increase the chances of a brain tumour. However, mobiles haven’t been around that long so we’re still finding out more about their possible effects on our health.
Remember that nothing you’ve done has caused the tumour.
If you’re worried about brain tumours
If you think you might have any of the symptoms of a brain tumour, you should go straight to your GP. They'll be able to talk to you about your symptoms, and can arrange tests to find out more or refer you to a specialist doctor.