Headache Types

Headache Types

Brain Cancer / Tumour

Medically reviewed by Dr. Emma Foster, 30 June 2021

There are numerous types of brain tumours, which can cause headache alongside other neurological symptoms and signs, such as seizures. Headaches associated with brain tumours usually get progressively worse as the tumour develops, although cases have been reported where the tumour-associated headache waxes and wanes. Some other headache features could include nausea or vomiting, being worse in the morning or when lying down, and being aggravated by coughing or straining. However, these may be due indirectly to the tumour, driven by increased pressure within the brain (intracranial hypertension) rather than the tumour itself, so not all characteristics will be present. 

Headache is a very common symptom of brain tumours, but it is rarely the only symptom. Abnormal headaches are more likely to be a cause for concern in younger patients (including children), people with primary headache disorders, or people with a history of cancer. Please consult your doctor if you are concerned your headache might be a sign of a brain tumour or another brain disorder.


Further information

Brain Tumour/Cancer – Brain Foundation

Headache AustralianMigraine & Headache Australia is the only organization in Australia that aims to support the more than 5 million Australians affected by headache and migraine.