Brain cancer diagnosis

Many people diagnosed with a brain or spinal cord tumour first go to see their GP because they are feeling unwell. Occasionally a brain tumour will be found during a scan for something unrelated, such as a head injury. Some people have sudden symptoms (such as loss of consciousness, severe headache or a seizure) and go straight to a hospital’s emergency department.

The doctor will ask you about your symptoms and medical history, and will do a physical examination. You may be referred to have more tests and scans to confirm a diagnosis of a brain or spinal cord tumour.

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Listen to podcasts on Making Treatment Decisions and Coping with a Cancer Diagnosis


Video: Diagnosis for brain cancer

Watch this video to learn more about the diagnosis process for brain cancer and the steps involved, such as the different types of scans, coping with a diagnosis, and the health professionals you may see.


Video: Cancer and common diagnostic tests

Watch this short video to learn about what cancer is, and some common diagnostic tests.


This information was last reviewed in April 2018
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