Headaches at times could be only symptom of brain tumour: Study

A study published in the journal Neurosurgery points out that at times headache could be the only symptom of brain tumour, news.bioscholar.com reported. The study recommends CT scans and other neuroimaging tests for people with headache for early diagnosis of the disease.

The researchers say people who ignore headache risk delaying or missing the diagnosis. Event specialists who follow guidelines suggesting limiting the use of CT scans and other tests for patients with headaches risked their patients who might have brain tumour.

According to Dr Ammar H Hawasli and colleagues at Washington University School of Medicine, St Louis, the intention of not using scans and imaging tests was agreeable but the guidelines were inconsistent with the neurosurgeon's experience with patients having brain tumour. Since there were a lot of patient visits with headache as a common complaint, focusing on the issue was important.

Migraine and other reasons for headache can be diagnosed in the doctor's office, without the need for any special tests. However neurosurgeons, given their experience with patients having brain tumours, can differentiate between different types of headaches. Hawasli and coauthors say patients with brain tumours may suffer from isolated headaches in the absence of other neurological symptoms and signs.