If you suspect you have a brain tumor, you’ll need a neurological exam and testing to confirm a diagnosis. Imaging tests play a big role in providing images of your brain as well as any tumors. Here at Excel Diagnostics & Nuclear Oncology Center in Houston, Texas, Dr. Ebrahim Delpassand and our expert team offer several different types of imaging tests, including magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and computerized tomography (CT).
But what brain tumor symptoms can prompt you to seek a diagnosis in the first place? Below, we share some of the common symptoms of brain tumors and what to do if you suspect you have one.
Symptoms of a brain tumor
There are many types of brain tumors, including primary tumors (that start in your brain) and secondary tumors (metastases that develop from a primary type of cancer). Some types of primary brain tumors include glioblastoma, glioma, pituitary tumors, meningiomas, and acoustic neuromas. Although the symptoms of the majority of brain tumors are similar, not all tumors are malignant (cancerous). Meningioma, for example, is the most common brain tumor, and they are often benign (noncancerous). This is why accurate diagnoses are so important when it comes to tumors, whether they turn out to be cancerous or not.
What symptoms you experience depend on what type of tumor you have, how big it is, and how fast it’s growing.
In general, brain tumors can contribute to:
- The development of new headaches
- Headaches that increasingly grow worse
- More frequent headaches
- Changes in the pattern of headaches
- Vision problems, including blurry vision and double vision
- Hearing problems
- Seizures not related to epilepsy
- Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
- Speech issues
- Loss of coordination
- Personality changes
- Gradual loss of coordination or movement in your legs and/or arms
In addition to the general symptoms listed above, brain tumors can also cause very specific symptoms related to the part of the brain in which they are located. For example, a pituitary tumor can cause lactation in women who are not breastfeeding. Pituitary tumors can also cause changes to a woman’s normal menstrual cycle.
If your tumor is a secondary brain tumor caused by a primary cancer spreading to the brain, you may also experience other symptoms in other parts of your body, including bone pain, coughing, or stomach pain.
What to do if you spot these symptoms
It’s important to remember that these symptoms can have many different causes. For example, headaches can be caused by dehydration, aneurysms, or hormonal imbalances, and vision problems may be caused by myopia or astigmatism. Regardless, if any of these symptoms appear, it’s important to seek medical attention. The thought of a brain tumor diagnosis can be daunting, but the sooner you arrive at the correct diagnosis, the sooner you can embark on the right treatment path.
To learn more about the diagnostic imaging tests that can help diagnose a brain tumor, schedule a consultation at Excel Diagnostics & Nuclear Oncology Center today. You can reach our Houston, Texas, office through our online portal or by calling 713-781-6200.