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Thread: Can a CT Miss a Brain Tumor?

  1. #1
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Apr 2019

    Can a CT Miss a Brain Tumor?

    First off, I know that I sound a bit crazy. The logical part of my brain reminds me of this, but the emotional side seems to take over at this point. Here is my story. About 3ish weeks ago I was driving to my son's swim lessons and I had two blurry spots in both my eyes. It was the beginning of spring, and I assumed that I just wasn't used to the sun as I forgot my sunglasses. While I was at swimming lessons, I was trying to do a Google search on my phone, and I was unable to complete the search even though I felt like I knew what I was searching for. I decided at that point that I needed to call my husband to come get me because I was nervous about driving with my children in the car. When I called him, I wasn't able to communicate with him other than "you need to come get me", but when he asked questions as to why or where I was, I wasn't able to find the words to answer him. I also had numbness in my left hand and face and just generally felt like I was floating even though I was aware of what was going on around me. I think the episode lasted maybe all of 5 minutes (maybe less). Afterwards, we went to the ER where they did blood tests, a CT scan without contrast, and an EKG. Everything came back fine, and I was released and saw the recommended neurologist a week and a half later. He did an assessment and said that the issue was most likely either stress or a silent migraine, but he wanted me to get an MRI just to rule everything out. He said he doesn't expect the MRI to find anything at all, and I will probably not have to come back and see him again, but he just wants to double check. At this point I was fine, and I schedule an MRI later this week when I was already off work. Now, a few days ago I had another attack, but I did not loose my ability to use language, but I had the numbness and floating feeling. I also feel like I keep tripping up on my words now (I will fully admit that it could just be because I am anxious now). Now, I am starting to freak out about the results of my MRI, and I am terrified that they are going to find something that the CT scan missed (if that is even possible). I am not sure how to end this because I am no even sure what I am even trying to get out of posting this as I know I sound very crazy, and I probably am a bit. Full disclosure, both of my parents died very young of weird and random cancers, so I am also probably experiencing some residual unresolved feelings from that. Thanks for reading and any words of wisdom!

  2. #2
    Administrator Top User lisa1962's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    I am sorry you found your way here posting on a Cancer forum and understand how scared you are. Now, so far, the doctors are not concerned about cancer and it is logical that stress and anxiety can create symptoms whether real or imagined. However, we are not medically trained and the only thing we can offer is to try and stay calm, let the medical process proceed.

    Until the suggested testing is performed and results are in, try focusing on the things you enjoy. Try to uncomplicate your schedule, try getting rest and pay attention to your diet to make sure you are eating and drinking enough to compensate your busy schedule.

    I am sure others will chime in here with suggestions so do check back often and do let us know how your tests go.


  3. #3
    Moderator Top User
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Your doctors seem to be taking a measured and methodical approach to diagnosing your condition, which is to be applauded. At this point, I wouldn't say that tumors are off the table, but there are many things that can cause what you're describing.

    My Mom had had incidents of TIA (transient ischemic attacks) that left her momentarily befuddled, although I don't think she had optical issues associated with hers. A TIA is like a mini-stroke, and not necessarily associated with tumors.

    I have had "optical migraines" which take over the optic field with odd, oscillating visual patterns and no headache or other affects. These tend to show up when I'm in the midst of intense concentration on a project, staring at the computer for hours on end.

    Keep on with your medical team - they will find your issue!
    DX - 5/2010 Grade 1, Stage 4 fNHL - w/spleen and 47% bone marrow involvement
    TX - 6/2010-12/2010: SWOG S0801- R-CHOP + Bexxar + Rituxan (4 yrs/quarterly)
    Restaged (post Bexxar) - PCR-Neg/NED :2/2011
    Rituxan maintenance ended 3/2015
    1/2018: Remission continues (>7 years) Down to one checkup/year!

  4. #4
    Newbie New User
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Thank you both for taking time to answer. I am glad my neurologist is taking the steps he needs to to ensure he rules out what he needs to. They brought up the possibility of a TIA at the hospital, but the ER doctor seemed doubtful because of my "young" age (I am 37). I just wish I would have asked more questions when I left the neurologist, but I he seemed so sure it wasn't a big deal (as did I because it was a one-time thing at the time), I just went with it. The second episode really threw me for a loop.


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