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Brain Cancer in Adults

Symptoms of Brain Cancer in Adults

The symptoms of brain cancer in adults will depend on the tumor size, type, and location. Symptoms may be caused when a tumor presses on a nerve or damages a certain area of the brain. Symptoms of brain cancer may also be caused when the brain swells or fluid builds up within the skull.
Common symptoms of brain cancer in adults include:
  • Frequent headaches (they may be worse in the morning)
  • Vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in mood and personality
  • Changes in ability to think and learn
  • Seizures.
Early brain tumor symptoms in adults can be vague. Therefore, it is not uncommon for an adult with early symptoms of brain cancer to have the condition diagnosed as something else, such as migraines. People who have possible symptoms should see a doctor as soon as possible, because only a doctor can diagnose and treat the problem.

Diagnosing Brain Cancer in Adults

If a person has potential brain cancer symptoms, the doctor will usually perform a physical exam, ask about the patient's personal and family medical history, and recommend additional tests and procedures in order to make a brain cancer diagnosis.
Exams and tests that are used in diagnosing brain cancer may include:
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Angiogram
  • Skull x-ray
  • Spinal tap
  • Myelogram
  • Biopsy.
(Click Brain Tumor Diagnosis for more information about diagnosing brain tumors in adults.)
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