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Thread: If You Think You Have Brain Cancer

  1. #1
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    Dec 2011

    If You Think You Have Brain Cancer

    We can't tell you whether you have a brain tumor. Only a doctor can tell you that, and he or she can do so only after looking at a scan of your brain.

    CT scans are usually given first. A brain tumor will appear as a "lesion" on a CT scan. An MRI scan will then be ordered to determine if the lesion is a tumor. Even if it is, note that most brain tumors are not cancerous.

    It's not unusual for brain tumors to initially be misdiagnosed as something else. This is why a scan is important. However, if you have already had a CT scan and no lesion appeared on it, then you do not have a brain tumor. It is not necessary to go and get another CT scan, and it is not wise. CT scans emit radiation.

    If you have what you believe are brain tumor symptoms and you have been trying without success to get your doctor to order a scan, your best bet may be to present yourself as an emergency case at an emergency room/A&E department, preferably at a large teaching hospital.


    The Mayo Clinic website has a list of brain tumor symptoms:

    Please note that having one of these symptoms, or two, or even all of them, does not mean you have a brain tumor. It does not even mean that a brain tumor is the most likely explanation. Brain tumors are rare.

    Members of Cancer Forums who were diagnosed with brain cancer were in most cases diagnosed after one of the following:

    * a seizure
    * the loss of the ability to do something, such as read, speak, or move an arm
    * a severe, persistent headache in one part of the head which grew worse with time

    However, many people have seizures without having tumors. A stroke, injury, or other illness can cause the loss of ability to speak, read or move. And headaches have many different causes.


    The vast majority of headaches have nothing to do with brain tumors. (And most brain tumors do not cause headaches. Note that the brain itself cannot feel pain.)

    Some common causes of severe, persistent headaches are:

    * allergies-- It does not matter if you never had allergies before. It's still much more likely you have allergies than a brain tumor.

    * sinus pain-- The frontal sinuses are located above the eyes. Pain there, or in the sphenoid or ethmoid sinuses, may seem like pain "in the brain".

    *bruxism-- Toothgrinding and jawclenching can cause pain in the temple area and higher up on the side of the head. If you tend to wake up with this kind of pain, bruxism may be the cause.

    *migraines—Migraines are severe, pulsating headaches of long duration.

    Other causes of headaches.

    However, do not assume that your headache is caused by any of these things without consulting a doctor.


    Everyone experiences anxiety at some point in his or her life. Anxiety produces physical symptoms. Many people who come here believing they have brain tumors mention a tingling sensation, muscle twitching, or numbness.

    These are not symptoms of a brain tumor. But they are common symptoms of anxiety. People commonly overestimate their own risk of having something rare (such as a brain tumor) and underestimate the likelihood that it is something common, like anxiety or sinus pain. They are are much better at judging the risks correctly for other people.
    Last edited by GBMsibling; 04-19-2018 at 02:59 AM.


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