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Properly diagnosing severe persistent headaches

| Mar 31, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Bad headaches plague many North Carolina residents. A situation in which people experience more persistent, severe headaches can leave them wondering if they are afflicted with some sort of serious underlying health condition or disease. There are some instances in which these issues are a symptom of another disease, such as brain cancer.

Red flags of possible brain cancer

In addition to severe and persistent headaches being one indicator of possible brain cancer, there are other red flags that typically accompany this disease. Physicians have a duty to make a diagnosis of disease in a reasonably prompt manner. A failure to timely and accurately make a diagnosis can result in a medical malpractice claim.

Symptoms of brain cancer include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness
  • Vision issues
  • Eye swelling
  • Weakness or paralysis, typically on one side of the body
  • Speech impairment
  • Seizures
  • Personality changes

A diagnosis of brain cancer typically involves the identification or more than one of these symptoms occurring at the same time. In some cases, a brain tumor doesn’t result in headaches at all. The brain itself is not “wired” to sense pain itself. Only after a tumor has grown large enough to press on surrounding nerves or blood vessels will headaches occur.

Basic brain cancer facts

Some basic facts associated with brain cancer are important to recognize. First, the most common age group for a brain cancer diagnosis is among adults between the ages of 40 to 60. Second, tumors that originate in the brain or primary tumors are significantly less common than tumors that spread to the brain from other locations within a person’s body.