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Migraine headache in patients with brain tumor.


Few clinical studies have been conducted on headache of patients with brain tumor. How these headaches develop is not fully understood. Headaches in patients with tumor have not been given much value when determining tumor location. This is firstly because the location of the headache pain is not related to the location of the tumour. Secondly tumor headache is known to be caused by an increase in pressure in the brain. Thus this pain is not useful when trying to find the location of the tumor.

Few studies have looked at the link between headaches in certain sites and specific tumor types. These studies focused on headaches occurring in the back part of the brain (occipital) where tumors were in the part of the brain called the cerebellum. The cerebellum is the lower back part of the brain. These tumors could also cause a build-up of fluid in the brain. In such cases the head swells and pain is felt in the front part of the head. The importance of headache in finding a tumor is expressed in a single sentence from a medical text book written 73 years ago.

In summary it states the following:  Patients with brain tumor often experience head pains in limited areas. The pain may not occur in the same place as the tumor. The pain is often on the same side as the tumor. Where the tumor is in the lower back part of the brain (cerebellum) the pain will be felt in the occipital.

View the full PDF at this link: Studies on headache: the mechanisms and significance of the headache associated with brain tumor


  • ” As an aid in the localization of brain tumor, the value of headache is limited by two facts: the headache may be remote from the site of its production, and the site of production of the headache may be remote from the tumor.”

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