This section on brain tumours is for teenagers and young adults.
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.
The symptoms of a brain tumour depend on the size of the tumour and where it is.
The tumour can cause three different types of symptoms:
- It can cause fits.
- It can affect the messages sent by that part of the brain to other parts of the body.
- It can also cause ‘raised intracranial pressure’. There’s only a certain amount of space in the skull for the brain. As a tumour grows, there can be a rise in pressure in or around the brain.
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.
Common symptoms of ‘raised intracranial pressure’ are:
- headaches, which are often worse in the morning
- vomiting (usually in the morning) or feeling sick
- fits (seizures)
- feeling very irritated or losing interest in day-to-day stuff like friends, school or going out
- problems with your eyes, such as blurring or seeing double
- feeling more sleepy or drowsy than usual
- changes in your balance and walking, or weakness down one side of the body
- problems with speech
- personality changes.
There’s often a simple explanation for many of the symptoms we’ve mentioned. But if you have any of these or if you’re worried, it’s important to see your GP straight away.
We don’t know the causes of most brain tumours. Research is looking into this all the time.
Young people with rare genetic conditions that run in families, such as neurofibromatosis type 1 and neurofibromatosis type 2, have an increased chance of developing a brain tumour.
Mobile phones, power lines and certain viruses have all been suggested as possible causes of brain tumours. There’s been a lot of research into these possible causes, especially mobile phones. But there has been no strong evidence for any of them.
Remember – nothing you’ve done has caused the tumour.
If you’re worried about brain tumoursBack to top
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. They can arrange tests to find out more, or refer you to a specialist doctor.