What is a Brain Tumor?
A brain tumor is an abnormal growth found inside the skull that can cause serious health complications. Brain tumors can be either benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Brain tumors can push on parts of the brain and cause pressure or shift the brain inside the skull. This can lead to major pain, discomfort, and other physical symptoms.
Physical Symptoms Caused by a Brain Tumor
Symptoms of a brain tumor include:
- Memory loss
- Weakness in one or more limbs
- Loss of balance/coordination
- Speech problems
Brain Tumor Headaches
Brain tumor headaches are usually quite painful. They are not like typical stress headaches. Headaches caused by brain tumors may also include changes in vision. Blurred vision and double vision are common vision problems associated with brain tumor headaches. If you are experiencing these symptoms, it is best to set up an appointment to be seen by a neurologist, a doctor who specializes in conditions of the brain.
Neurologists and Brain Tumor Diagnosis
A neurologist can diagnose or rule-out brain tumors by doing a neurological evaluation and brain scans to detect whether or not a patient has a brain tumor. Brain scans can be done in the form of an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT (Computed Tomography) scan or PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan. All of these methods can show clear enough images of the brain to detect anything abnormal that may lead to a brain tumor diagnosis. Brain scans are not painful and may only require that you lie still for a given time while the images are taken.
Positive Brain Tumor Diagnosis
If your neurologist confirms a positive brain tumor diagnosis, a plan of action will be drawn up to help resolve the tumor issue. Resolution usually requires surgery to perform a biopsy on the brain tumor tissue. The collection of brain tissue is done so it can be sent to Pathology for a full report. A Pathologist will determine if the tumor is benign or malignant, and what type of cells are involved. This allows doctors to decide if the best form of treatment would be to remove or shrink the tumor.
Take Action Against Brain Tumors
If you think you or a loved one may be suffering from a brain tumor, contact a neurologist right away. If you would like to learn more information about brain tumors and/or brain tumor diagnosis, Dr. Shaker Dixit of the Neurology Center of Las Vegas would be happy to provide answers