The symptoms that brain tumors cause depend on the size, type and location of the tumor. Tumor can grow and compress the surrounding nerves or tissues. This can cause different symptoms depending on the location. Fluid buildup in the brain (edema) due to the tumor can have similar symptoms. The most frequent symptoms are as follows:
- Nausea or vomiting, headache
- Changes in speech, vision or hearing
- Balance or walking disturbances
- Mood and personality disorders, difficulty concentrating
- Involuntary muscle contractions (seizures)
- Numbness, pins-and-needles sensation or weakness in arm or legs
These symptoms can arise from many reasons other than brain tumors. So having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you have a brain tumor. But having one of the symptoms means that you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
How are brain tumors diagnosed?
The path in diagnosis is as follows:
- Examination: The physician gets a geneal opinion of the health condition with a general examination.
- Neurological examination: The brain surgeon examines alertness, muscle power, reflexes and reaction to pain. Nörolojik inceleme. S/he tries to determine the possibility of a mass that increases the intracranial pressure by looking at fundus.
- Computerized tomography (CT). This device is a machine that views the inside of the head with X-ray. Sometimes, a medication injected from veins makes the image clearer. Brain tumors are visualized in imaging.
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This is a technique that scans the brain with powerful magnetic radio waves connected to a computer. Sometimes, a medication injected from veins makes the image clearer. Brain tumors and other problems are visualized clearly.
- Biopsy: Looking for tumor cells by taking a piece from the tissue is called a biopsy. A pathologist examines the specimen under a microscope and looks for tumor cells. The definitive diagnosis of brain tumors are done with biopsy.