Can a neurologist tell if you have a brain tumor?
Most brain tumors are diagnosed after symptoms appear. Often a brain tumor is first diagnosed by an internist or a neurologist. An internist is a doctor who specializes in treating adults. A neurologist is a doctor who specializes in problems with the brain and central nervous system.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans are used most often to look for brain diseases. These scans will almost always show a brain tumor, if one is present.
Diagnosing a brain tumor usually involves a neurological exam, brain scans and a biopsy, if it can be done safely. A neurological exam may include a variety of tests to evaluate neurological functions such as balance, hearing, vision and reflexes.
Headaches are the most common symptom of brain tumors. Headaches happen in about half of people with brain tumors. Headaches can happen if a growing brain tumor presses on healthy cells around it. Or a brain tumor can cause swelling in the brain that increases pressure in the head and leads to a headache.
Magnetic resonance imaging, also called MRI, uses strong magnets to create pictures of the inside of the body. MRI is often used to detect brain tumors because it shows the brain more clearly than do other imaging tests.
- Alzheimer's disease.
- Headaches or migraines.
- Lyme disease.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Subdual hematoma.
Some brain tumours such as pituitary gland, pineal region and germ cell tumours can change the levels of certain hormones and chemicals in your body. You may have blood tests to check for specific hormones and markers to help diagnose a brain tumour.
A blood test cannot diagnose a brain tumour. But some types of tumour release certain hormones or chemicals into the blood. If the tumour is affecting your pituitary gland or pineal gland, you may have blood tests to check for this. Some people may have a chest x-ray to check their lungs and their general health.
The diagnosis involves a physical exam, neurological exam, imaging of the brain or spine (depending on the patient's symptoms), and a specific biopsy based on the location of the tumor. The diagnosis is made either by a brain biopsy or by evaluating the spinal fluid, if the spinal fluid is thought to be involved.
There is no way to tell from symptoms alone if a tumor is benign or malignant. Often an MRI scan can reveal the tumor type, but in many cases, a biopsy is required.
Where is the most common place for a brain tumor?
They may occur in many parts of the brain, but most commonly in the cerebrum. People of all ages can develop astrocytomas, but they are more prevalent in adults — particularly middle-aged men.
The symptoms can develop gradually over some months or even years if the tumour is slow growing. Or quickly over days or weeks if the tumour is fast growing.
Symptoms of a brain tumour
seizures (fits) persistently feeling sick (nausea), being sick (vomiting) and drowsiness. mental or behavioural changes, such as memory problems or changes in personality. progressive weakness or paralysis on one side of the body.
Blood tests are not used to diagnose brain or spinal cord tumours. However, they are routinely done to provide a baseline before any planned treatment. They can provide helpful information about your general health, how other organs are functioning, other medical conditions and the possible risks of treatment.
- Seizures. Regardless of your type of tumor, seizures are often one of the first signs of trouble. ...
- Clumsiness. ...
- Numbness. ...
- Changes in memory or thinking. ...
- Nausea. ...
- Vision changes. ...
- Not usually headaches. ...
- Everything else you need to know.
“If you have a headache and notice other neurologic symptoms, such as weakness or feeling uncoordinated, these are all warning signs that something may be going on that warrants medical attention,” Weathers says. “It might not mean that it's a brain tumor, but it's a sign that you should see a doctor urgently.” 2.