In some cases, yes, they do. Brain tumors can cause numbness and tingling in the face, arms, hands, legs and feet. This is because the brain plays a key role in feeling sensations throughout the body. Sensory receptors send signals through the nerves and spinal nerve roots, up the spinal cord and brain stem to the brain, which then processes the signals. A brain tumor can block this pathway, resulting in numbness and tingling.
Numbness and tingling caused by a brain tumor tend to affect only one side of the body. The site of numbness and tingling will depend on where the tumor is located within the brain.
Other possible causes of numbness and tingling
Numbness and tingling aren’t always a cause for immediate concern. They can result from a number of conditions other than brain tumors, such as:
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Insect bites
- Spinal injuries (including herniated discs, spinal tumors and sciatic nerve compression)
- Vitamin B12 deficiencies
Numbness and tingling can even occur after simply remaining in one position for an extended period of time. Nonetheless, it’s always a good idea to get checked out by a physician if you’re experiencing numbness and tingling, especially if accompanied by other symptoms of a brain tumor.
Brain tumor diagnosis at Moffitt
You can rely on Moffitt Cancer Center for diagnosis and, if necessary, treatment. We offer a wide array of neurological evaluations, lab tests and imaging scans, and a multispecialty tumor board collaborates to develop individualized treatment plans for each of our patients. As a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, Moffitt has all areas of treatment available in a single location, as well as a robust clinical trials program featuring innovative therapy options that are not yet widely available.
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Michael Vogelbaum, Program Leader, Department of Neuro-Oncology.