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I’ve been having constant headaches. Could it be a brain tumor?

Chronic headaches can be unsettling and create fears of more serious conditions, such as a brain tumor. The reality, however, is that the likelihood of a headache signaling a brain tumor is extremely low. In fact, most headaches are completely unrelated to cancer.

It’s still a good idea to seek medical attention if you encounter a new headache or notice changes in their frequency or pattern. Consulting your primary care physician can help rule out any potential serious issues. If your main symptom is a headache and its pattern remains consistent, it’s more likely attributed to conditions like migraine, tension headache or cluster headache – none of which are life-threatening although they can certainly be debilitating.

While they can be distressing, there are a number of strategies to alleviate the severity and frequency of headaches. Your doctor can help you make adjustments to medication, diet and lifestyle to help lessen symptoms. But rest assured, a headache alone is most likely not symptomatic of a brain tumor.

By Simon Khagi, M.D.