Brain cancer is an incredibly scary diagnosis, and no one wants to deal with the possibility of having it. However, because brain cancer can cause life-threatening complications, it’s important to recognize the signs and know how to determine if you might have it.
The most common warning sign of brain cancer is frequent and severe headaches. These headaches often occur in the morning and increase in intensity over a period of time. Some people may experience a sudden blinding headache that won’t go away or that recurs with increasing intensity over a few days. Other symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Seizures, hearing changes, a decrease in cognitive abilities, and changes in vision can also accompany these symptoms.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to get a medical evaluation right away. Your doctor will likely order imaging tests like an MRI or CT scan to look for any anomalies in the brain. They may also do a biopsy to collect a tissue sample from the affected area of the brain to see if cancerous cells are present.
Your doctor may also use blood tests or a lumbar puncture to test for other markers of brain cancer. Blood tests can check for the presence of substances that indicate the presence of a tumor or its metabolic byproducts. A lumbar puncture can collect cerebrospinal fluid from the spine and test it for the presence of tumor cells or other abnormalities.
No matter what tests your doctor orders, it’s important to pay attention to any symptoms that could be related to brain cancer. Be sure to let your doctor know of any changes in your overall health or functioning. Taking prompt action will give you the best chance at survival if you’re diagnosed with brain cancer.