Q:

How can you tell if you have a brain tumor?

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Quick Answer

Common symptoms associated with brain tumors include headache, weakness, difficulty walking and seizures, according to WebMD. However, these symptoms are not specific to brain tumors, and it's possible a brain tumor will have no symptoms at all. Diagnostic testing is the only way to correctly diagnose a brain tumor.

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Full Answer

Additional symptoms to be wary of, according to WebMD, include changes in an individual's mental status, blurred vision, difficulty with speech and changes in emotional capacity. People should seek medical attention immediately if they experience unexplained but persistent vomiting, double vision, lethargy, or a new pattern of headaches, as these can also point toward brain tumors.

In order to confirm the diagnosis, a doctor may use an angiogram, which is an X-ray of the head that uses contrast dye, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Brain tumors tend to soak up more dye than the surrounding tissue, causing it to show up very clearly in the X-ray. Other diagnosis options include CT scans, which are a type of X-ray that takes many pictures of the brain from different angles. A computer then processes the pictures, creating a three-dimensional image of the brain. Any abnormalities present are visible to the doctor. If the tumor is not visible, a doctor can often find swelling or bleeding sometimes associated with brain tumors.

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