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brain tumor symptoms discussion with teen

Brain tumor symptoms can develop in people of all ages – including teens. In recent years, nearly 13% of all new brain cancers were diagnosed in patients under the age of 20, and another 9% were diagnosed in patients between the ages of 20 and 34. As a result, it’s important for adolescents and young adults – as well as their parents – to understand the symptoms and promptly report any unusual developments to an experienced physician.

Brain tumors cause similar symptoms in both teenagers and adults. The most common symptoms include:

  • Frequent headaches
  • Drowsiness or fatigue
  • Problems with vision, balance or coordination
  • Tingling or weakness in the arms or legs

Brain tumors can also interfere with pubescent growth. When a brain tumor compresses the pituitary gland, which drives hormone production, the end result can be endocrine dysfunction. This can lead to irregular menstrual patterns in females, a loss of libido and a loss of body or facial hair.

While these symptoms don’t always indicate brain cancer, and in many cases are caused by less serious conditions, it’s important to seek prompt medical attention should they occur. An experienced physician can evaluate a patient to determine if additional medical testing is necessary.

At Moffitt Cancer Center, our Adolescent and Young Adult Program is specially designed for patients under the age of 39. Because we specialize in diagnosing and treating young brain cancer patients, we are well equipped to help these individuals conquer the unique medical, emotional and social challenges that they may face. Not only do we offer the most innovative cancer treatments and clinical trials, but we also have a team of physicians who have extensive experience in treating adolescent and young adult patients. We also host regular social support events that enable patients and their families to connect with others who are in the same phase of life.

Medically Reviewed by Dr. Michael Vogelbaum, Program Leader, Department of Neuro-Oncology.

To learn more about brain tumor symptoms in teens and young adults, contact Moffitt Cancer Center. We accept patients with or without referrals; call 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.