Malignant brain tumors are cancerous or contain cancer cells. These brain tumors are serious and life threatening and are likely to grow rapidly and crowd or invade the surrounding healthy brain cells.
These tumors if left untreated can become fatal because cancer cells may break away from a malignant brain tumor and spread to other parts of the brain, spinal cord or other parts of the body. If you have lost a loved one because a doctor or physician failed to diagnose a brain tumor, you may be a victim of medical malpractice and may be entitled to significant compensation.
The symptoms of brain tumors depend on the size of the tumor, type and location. Symptoms may be caused when a tumor presses on a nerve or damages a certain area of the brain. The most common symptoms of brain tumors include:
Nausea or vomiting
Changes in speech, vision or hearing
Problems with balance or walking
Seizures or convulsions
Anyone with one or more of these symptoms must consult a doctor immediately. Only a doctor can diagnose and treat brain tumors. If a person has symptoms that suggest a brain tumor, then the doctor may perform one or more of the following procedures:
CT Scan: This is basically an x-ray machine hooked on to a computer that takes a series of detailed pictures of the head. These pictures can show brain tumors.
MRI: A powerful magnet linked to a computer takes detailed pictures of areas inside the body.
Physical examination: The physician checks general signs of health.
Neurological examination: The doctor would examine a patient for alertness, muscle strength, coordination, reflexes and response to pain. The doctor would also examine the eyes to check for swelling caused by a tumor pressing on the nerve that connects the eye to the brain.
Other tests that may help diagnose brain tumors include angiogram, myelogram (an x-ray of the spine), spinal tap, skull x-ray and biopsies.
Failure to diagnose these tumors can have lethal consequences. Such conditions must be diagnosed and treated right away. Otherwise, a patient could suffer further complications or could even die. A medical malpractice claim is complicated and must be handled only by a lawyer who is experienced with medical malpractice cases including failure to diagnose cases. If you or someone you love has suffered the consequences of failure to diagnose a brain tumor.