Brain Tumor Diagnosis
Signs of a Brain Tumor
Brain tumor signs can feel a lot like the symptoms of other illnesses. If you’re feeling any of the following symptoms, the best thing to do is to talk to your doctor:
- Headaches that are worse in the morning
- Difficulties speaking, hearing or seeing
- Coordination problems – like difficulty keeping your balance or walking
- Feeling numb or tingling in arms or legs
- Difficulties concentrating or remembering
- Unusual changes in mood or personality
When you come to the Comprehensive Cancer Center, our specialists will take a detailed medical history and perform a thorough physical examination. We look for any signs of increased pressure inside your skull, which can indicate the presence of a brain tumor. To confirm a brain tumor diagnosis, we use a variety of tests, which can include any of the following:
Brain imaging – Imaging tests help your doctors identify the presence and location of a brain tumor. Imaging tests we use include:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan – Uses both X-ray and computer technology to create a detailed picture of the affected area of the brain
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – Uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create a detailed picture of the brain and surrounding tissues
Biopsy – During a biopsy, your neurosurgeon removes tissue from the affected area to examine it closely under a microscope. Two ways to obtain a sample of affected brain tumor are:
- Stereotactic biopsy – In this procedure, your neurosurgeon drills a small hole into the skull and then uses a CT scan to guide a needle to the exact location of a suspected tumor.
- Open-brain surgery – In this procedure, your neurosurgeon removes a piece of skull to expose part of the brain, takes out as much of the tumor as possible, and then replaces the skull piece.
Your neurosurgeon will recommend which biopsy approach will be the most effective for you based on the location and size of your tumor.
Schedule an appointment with Wake Forest Baptist Health online today.