Diagnosing a brain tumor involves completion of a series of tests to evaluate the patient’s symptoms and neurological functions. Most brain tumors are not found until after symptoms appear.
Common symptoms of a brain tumor:
The most common symptoms of a brain tumor include:
- Seizures or convulsions
- Difficulty thinking, speaking, or finding words
- Personality or behavior changes
- Weakness or paralysis in one part or one side of the body
- Loss of balance or dizziness
- Loss of hearing
- Vision changes
- Confusion and disorientation
- Memory loss
These symptoms can also be caused by other health problems; you should consult with a physician for an accurate diagnosis.
Next Steps for Brain Tumor Patient
Jon Weingart, MD, discusses the next steps for someone who has just been diagnosed with a brain tumor. Dr Weingart is a neurosurgeon and professor of Neurological Surgery and Oncology at Johns Hopkins Medicine.
How Johns Hopkins diagnoses brain tumors:
As part of one of the largest brain tumor centers in the world, the doctors at the Johns Hopkins Comprehensive Brain Tumor Center are experts at diagnosing brain tumors. Our doctors will examine the patient to determine the existence of a brain tumor. The results of the examinations will determine:
- The type of brain tumor
- Its severity— whether it is benign (non-aggressive) or malignant (aggressive)
- Its grade
Diagnosing a brain tumor usually involves three steps:
- A neurological exam
- Brain scans: CT (or CAT) scan, MRI, occasionally an angiogram or X-rays, and others.
- A biopsy (tissue sample analysis)
Learn more about the different types of tests patients may undergo during evaluation.