How is a Brain Tumour Diagnosed?

Common Symptoms of a Brain Tumour

Every person diagnosed with a brain tumour will have a different description of how they came to be diagnosed. For many, it will declare itself in a startling or even frightening way:

  • Seizures
  • Unexpected loss of function of a limb or limbs
  • Problems with speech
  • Sudden changes in vision

In these cases, diagnosis is often made quickly. For others, the onset of symptoms may be gradual and may be initially be passed off as more minor ailments:

  • Frequent but tolerable headaches
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Personality changes ~ can often be attributed to stress, fatigue, the flu, migraine headaches etc.

In these cases, diagnosis may take more time.
 

If a brain tumour is suspected, there are two tests typically done to investigate:

CT (or CAT) Scan 

A CT Scanner is often used to take pictures (X-rays) of the brain.
 

Abnormalities such as a tumour will show up on a scan.
 

 (a typical CT scan machine is pictured at left)

 

 

MRI Scan

An MRI Scan uses a magnet and radio waves to take pictures of the brain.

MRI scans show more detail than CT scans. However, a CT may be done first to determine any abnormalities. If one is present, an MRI provides further detail.
 

 (a typical MRI machine is pictured at right)

 

Learn about typical brain tumour treatment here.

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Today, 8 Canadians will learn they have brain cancer. That's 3,000 Canadians each year. That's why we have launched Hats for Hope a nation-wide brain cancer awareness campaign and are calling on all Canadians to pledge support for brain cancer research. Join us in International Brain Tumour Awareness Week, October 20 - 27, 2018, or on October 24, 2018 – the first Brain Cancer Awareness Day in Canada – by wearing a hat, taking a selfie or group photo, and sharing it on social using #HatsForHope

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