Symptoms of brain tumours depend upon the location of the tumour in the brain. The earliest warning signs and symptoms include:
Other common symptoms of brain tumour are:
If you experience any of the above symptoms, consult your physician immediately. After evaluating your symptoms, they may refer you to a specialist. If the specialist suspects a brain tumour, you may be recommended the following screening and diagnostic tests:
This includes a thorough evaluation of your vision, hearing, balance and coordination, muscle strength, reflexes, etc. Since many brain tumours affect one or more of these neurological functions, any abnormal results may indicate the presence of a tumour.
Imaging tests are routinely used to detect brain and spinal cord tumours. Today, sophisticated imaging tools like CT scans, MRI and PET scans provide accurate results about brain tumours, their location, size, and spread.
If a brain tumour is confirmed in imaging tests, your doctor will recommend a biopsy. A biopsy involves collecting a tumour tissue sample from the brain by performing surgery. It may be performed using a fine needle in some hard-to-reach tumours. The biopsy sample gives detailed information about the type of your brain tumour and its stage.
We often hear about chemotherapy and brain tumours when talking of various available treatment options. But, the most commonly used brain tumour treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. The suitable treatment options for you depend upon the following factors:
Surgery is the first line of treatment for most brain tumours. This is particularly helpful in removing small and benign tumours. In some advanced tumours, surgery helps reduce the size of the tumour, relieving the patient’s signs and symptoms. Surgery in advanced stage 3 and stage 4 brain tumour is usually followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy to kill any remaining tumour cells that could not be removed by surgery. In malignant tumours with a high recurrence rate, treatment may help reduce symptoms and prolong life.