Brain metastases

Brain metastases are clusters of malignant or cancerous cells that have spread from another part of the body to the brain.

The most common cancers that spread to the brain are breastcancer, lungcancer, and melanoma (skincancer). However just about any cancer can spread to the brain.


Symptoms re usually related to the location of the tumor and may include the following:

  • headache
  • seizure
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • nuchal rigidity
  • photophobia
  • cognitive dysfunction
  • motor dysfunction
  • emotional changes, depression a.o.


On this page we discuss the symptoms that characterize the damage associated with brain metastases in behavior, emotion and cognition.

A person can change

It is important to know that the person who has brain metastases may change in several ways. The person in question cannot do anything about that. The location in the brains where the metastases are located may affect certain behavior.

Behavior and emotions

The following consequences may occur. Note! do not blame the person with brain metastases for it!
A person may become more impulsive or more apathetic. A person may take less initiative or become disinhibited.
In addition, aggressive and socially inappropriate behavior occurs. This depends on where the tumor is, or where the damage from chemotherapy and radiation is situated.

A person with a brain metastasis can become depressed, not only by the gravity of the diagnosis, the suffering and the prospect of going to die, but this depression can also be caused by the location of the metastasis in the brain.

Cognitive complaints

Cognitive complaints may also occur due to a tumor or metastasis, and by the treatment of these. Examples include problems with memory, executive functions, attention and concentration and motoric speed.

Language disorders such as aphasia are also seen.

A person may become unrestrained or slower in speaking.