Nosebleed and Brain Tumor

by Shaun Damon

Nosebleeds are a common occurrence, which is why they rarely cause us to worry too much. You could suffer from a nosebleed due to several reasons, some of which include injuries, a fall, a scratch, extreme climate, hormonal changes, a severe cold, stress, allergies and so on. However, in case the nosebleed becomes a recurring problem, it is important for you to get it checked by a doctor as early as possible. At times, a bleeding nose could be an indication of a serious underlying health problem like high blood pressure, hardened arteries, tumors and dehydration, to name a few. Though it is not very common, a recurrent nose bleed could also be a symptom of brain tumor.

A brain tumor can be described as an abnormal growth or mass that forms in the brain. There are many different types of brain tumors that affect people; some of them are cancerous (malignant) and some are non-cancerous (benign). Health experts also classify them as primary brain tumors (the tumors that begin in the brain) and metastatic or secondary brain tumors (those tumors that spread to the brain from another part of the body). A tumor can be located in different parts of the brain.

People suffering from a brain tumor may experience varying symptoms, based on the size and location. Some of the different signs and symptoms of a tumor in the brain include:

  • Behavioral or personality changes
  • Confusion
  • Gradual loss of fine and gross motor skills
  • Hearing problems
  • Inability to focus
  • Lack of sensation or movement in the face and limbs
  • Loss of balance
  • Memory loss
  • Muscle weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Severe headaches
  • Speech difficulties
  • Vision problems like blurry vision or double vision
Unfortunately, many patients do not experience any of these symptoms in the initial stages, which is why brain tumor is often detected only when it reaches an advanced stage.

As the tumor reaches an advanced stage, patients may also experience nosebleeds and blackouts. Therefore, if you are experiencing frequent nosebleeds, do make an appointment with your doctor, especially if any of the above symptoms are also present. The doctor may advise you to go in for a few tests to determine the exact cause of the problem. These tests could include a neurological exam, an MRI, a CT scan or a biopsy.

The treatment of the tumor will depend upon its size and location in the brain. Your health, age, medical history and preferences will also play an important role in the treatment path adopted by your doctor. Some of the options that you may be asked to consider are:

  • Surgery, if the tumor is not located at a critical location
  • Radiation therapy in order to kill the cancer cells
  • Radio-surgery, where highly focused radiation beams kill the cancer cells in a small area
  • Chemotherapy
  • Targeted drug therapy
Proper rehabilitation is an important part of treating a brain tumor; your doctor may advise you to undergo physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy in the recovery stage. It is also possible for a nosebleed to occur due to other types of cancer, mainly nasal cancer and leukemia.

Of course, cancer is not the only cause of recurring nosebleeds. Blood-clotting disorders like hemophilia and idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura can also cause you to experience nosebleeds on a regular basis. These conditions are also quite serious and need to be treated without any delay. Therefore, do set up an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible to find out the exact cause of the nosebleed.

References
  1. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/brain-tumor/DS00281
  2. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/nosebleeds/MY01201/DSECTION=causes

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