Know the Symptoms
Teens (12-18 years)
It’s important to remember that many of these symptoms are extremely common and experiencing one by itself is rarely a sign of a brain tumour. However, being aware of all the potential symptoms can help you be ready to take action if two or more symptoms are experienced at the same time.
In this age group, teens may not feel comfortable discussing how they feel, so you may need to look out for signs that they are unwell from how they look or behave – like a persistent and significant reduction in activity levels or difficulty walking unaided.
If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, you should speak to a doctor as soon as possible.
If symptoms develop quickly or are severe, call 999 or go to the emergency department.
Persistent / recurrent vomiting
Persistent vomiting or feeling sick, especially when not accompanied by diarrhoea or a high temperature.
Persistent / recurrent headache
Headaches are common, but you should keep an eye out for persistent headaches that occur most days, particularly when waking up.
A loss or reduction in motor skills can be subtle, but may also cause teens to feel unsteady when walking or struggle with activities needing carefully coordinated movements.
Abnormal eye movements
Visual abnormalities you may notice are squints, one eye bulging or eyes seeming to be wobbling, quivering or flickering.
Blurred or double vision/loss of vision
You should be particularly wary when changes to vision occur suddenly, including partial or complete loss of sight, double vision or blurred vision.
Be mindful when these changes occur persistently over days or weeks and across all settings – such as at home, school and during outings.
Seizures or fits
A seizure can be a brief moment when your baby appears to be “absent” from what is going on around them, or jerking/twitching of a hand, arm, leg or the whole body.
Delayed or arrested puberty
There are medical definitions of delayed and suspended puberty, but if a teen meets those criteria it doesn’t necessarily mean anything is wrong.
Abnormal head position
You may notice they have a stiff neck, an unusual head tilt or difficulties turning their head, that likely persists over weeks.
Teens being unresponsive or less responsive, including a reduced response to pain or someone’s voice, appearing confused or it not being possible to rouse them from sleep.
Excessive thirst, needing to urinate more frequently and increased accidents or bed wetting could be a sign of diabetes insipidus.
Teens not growing as much as they should be for their age, could potentially be caused by a hormone imbalance.