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Wellness > Health

May is Brain Tumor Awareness Month

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

The month of May is typically very exciting. The weather is starting to get nicer, the school year is coming to an end and you have the whole summer ahead of you. However, May is an important month for more reasons than just these. 

You may not know, but May is actually Brain Tumor Awareness Month. Brain tumors can be super scary and according to the National Brain Tumor Society, it’s estimated that 700,000 Americans are living with a primary brain tumor. Even though not all tumors are malignant, it’s important to recognize just how important it is to support those that have such conditions. 

Unfortunately, my family has seen first-hand just how much damage a tumor in the brain can cause. Sadly, cancerous brain tumors often result in the ending of someone’s life, and even if a surgeon is successfully able to operate and remove such a tumor, the road to recovery is a long and difficult one. 

During the month of May, we can educate ourselves on the signs and symptoms of brain tumors, and make donations to support research efforts on how these tumors even come to be and how to remove them. We can also spread the word on social media in the hopes that such messaging will have the power to save someone’s life. May is also a chance to reflect on how powerful a person’s brain is and how important it is to take care of your brain and your health overall. 

Of course, taking care of yourself is always important, but when it comes to situations such as fighting a brain tumor, early detection is always beneficial. Symptoms such as extreme and frequent headaches, weakness on one side of the body, and personality changes can all indicate a serious situation that could be a brain tumor. Any time you feel like something isn’t right with your own health, it is always best to see a doctor and get a professional opinion. 

For my mom, what started out as a small bump in the back of her head four years ago turned into something much more serious. Initially, doctors said it was nothing to worry about and was most likely a bony protrusion. However, after consulting with a dermatologist, she wanted to see if it was possible to get the bump removed. My mom was referred to a surgeon who performed some scans to see what the bump could possibly be. Unfortunately, these scans showed that a tumor was on my mother’s brain that was completely unrelated to the bump. The tumor was thankfully removed, and she has been recovering at a faster rate than doctors initially thought she would. However, after a biopsy, we were told the tumor was cancerous, and that had we not caught it when we did, the doctor may not have been able to do much to help her. 

What started off as a joke between my mother and me, that her bump may have been a cyst you would see on Dr. Pimple Popper, turned into a discovery that saved my mom’s life. It’s so important to acknowledge the severity of conditions like having a brain tumor because you never really know how your own life can be impacted until you have a personal connection to it. 

So, with that being said, I invite you to think about those with brain tumors this May and encourage the people in your life to seek medical health anytime they are unsure about something with their health.

Caitlin Eichhorn

Illinois State '23

Caitlin is a senior at Illinois State University studying Public Relations and Spanish. She is a member of Theta Beta chapter of Kappa Kappa Gamma and loves being a writer for Her Campus. When she's not studying or writing her novel, she is watching 80s films or hockey highlights.