A tumor in the brain can be manifested by various, sometimes very serious symptoms. Here's how to spot a brain tumor and what the medical exam looks like.
How does a brain tumor express itself?
The problem with brain tumors is that, whether they are benign or malignant, they grow in a region of the body that can not expand outward. The tumor displaces or destroys brain tissue and not only causes local deficits, but also increases the pressure inside the skull. This leads to headache, nausea and vomiting and may culminate in dysphagia.
Variety of symptoms
If you have a headache or vomiting for a long time in the morning and you have no explanation for it, such as weather sensitivity or gastrointestinal infection, it would be better to have these symptoms examined by a doctor.
Depending on the location of the tumor, the respective functions of the brain region are affected: A tumor in the front part of the brain often leads to psychological changes such as personality changes or changes in behavior, otherwise paralysis, seizures or visual disturbances can occur.
Since the tumors grow at different rates, a slow-growing meningioma can not even show symptoms for a long time - and when you are diagnosed, you will be surprised how big the meningioma is.
Brain tumors rarely place in neighboring organs, and the classic categorization of goodness and malignancy is limited to brain tumors, since the clinical prognosis with intracranial signs and the chances of surgery must be much more important than in other tumors.
How is a brain tumor examined?
If a brain tumor is suspected, the doctor will first perform an in-depth history and clinical neurological examination. Following are various procedures to choose from:
- In addition to these measures, at least one imaging procedure is used to arrive at the diagnosis. With computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging a detailed representation of the brain is possible, a simultaneous administration of contrast agent increases the validity of whether it is a benign or malignant tumor. In addition, PET, positron emission tomography, can provide more accurate information on how well the brain tumor is perfused - a heavily perfused tumor indicates malignancy.
- In the EEG, the electroencephalogram, the brain waves are displayed. Regions of the brain that cause seizures can be located more accurately.
- In CSF, sometimes tumor cells can be obtained.
- If you come to the tumor well from the outside, it is clarified with a biopsy, which type of tumor is present.
- X-ray angiography is needed before surgery to determine which major arteries are involved in the tumor process.