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Cancer

Brain Tumor

12/11/2008

Question:

Hello, I am a 22yr old female. I had a seizure four years ago (I had never had one before and have not had one since) but was told it was told it was stress. I had an MRI and an EKG. The EKG was positive but the doctors said that did not give any useful information. I have had trouble concentrating and have trouble finding words when I need them. This has been getting rapidly worse over the past two years. I am even having difficulties writing this without losing focus. I have a very hard time remembering specific events, even when they are repeated to me by a friend and sometimes I can`t remember events at all. I have also noticed small behavioral changes that I can’t seem to control. I have tried to correct my focus problems but I have been unsuccessful. I was on medication as a child for ADD but this is much, much worse then it ever was in the past. I don`t want to run to my doctor and say I think I have a brain tumor but this seems to be the only thing that explains all of my symptoms and the severity of them. What is the most likely cause of this and what sort of treatment should I seek? Thank you

Answer:

I doubt this is a brain tumor (because of the durations of your symptoms) but these problems are concerning for some sort of neurologic problem that should be evaluated. I would not hesitate to start with your doctor and say you do not understand the way your mind is working these days and that there have been concerning changes. (You don't have to say you think you have a brain tumor.) Even if your doctor is not concerned, you should ask for a referral to a neurologist. There are so many good medications now for different neurologic conditions.

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Response by:

Paula  Silverman, MD Paula Silverman, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University