If you develop the symptoms of a brain tumour, such as a persistent and severe headache, see your GP.
See your GP if you develop any of the symptoms of a malignant brain tumour, such as a persistent and severe headache.
Your GP will examine you and ask about your symptoms. They may also carry out a simple neurological examination (see below).
If they suspect you may have a tumour, or they are not sure what's causing your symptoms, you'll probably be referred to a neurologist (brain and nerve specialist).
Your GP or neurologist may carry out a test of your nervous system, called a neurological examination, to look for problems associated with a brain tumour.
This may involve tests of your:
- hand and limb strength
- reflexes, such as your knee-jerk reflex
- hearing and vision
- skin sensitivity
- balance and co-ordination
- memory and mental agility (using simple questions or arithmetic)
A neurologist may also recommend one or more of the tests mentioned below.
Other tests you may have to help diagnose a brain tumour include:
If a tumour is suspected, a biopsy (surgical removal of a small piece of tissue) may be taken to establish the type of tumour and the most effective treatment.
Under anaesthetic, a small hole (known as a burr hole) is made in the skull and a very fine needle is used to obtain a sample of tumour tissue. You'll probably need to stay in hospital for a few days afterwards.