Our changing lifestyle makes us vulnerable to an increasing amount of health risks. Cancer, for instance, is a lifestyle disease which has an ever increasing incidence rate. Though cancer is still not fully curable, if it is detected early and treated at an early stage, it can be cured. It is therefore important to get screened as soon as you begin to experience any symptoms even remotely associated with cancer.
Brain cancer is perhaps one of the most serious kinds of cancers. This is because the cancer that spreads in the brain not only affects the brain but can also have adverse effects on other parts of the body. If the cancerous growths begin to put pressure on certain nerves, the corresponding organs are affected.
The first part of brain cancer testing is known as screening. People who are symptom free and have not yet been diagnosed with any diseases are called in for a screening test first. The screening test for brain cancer is expensive when compared to the other tests for cancer. As compared to pap smears and mammography, you will find that brain cancer testing would also cost a lot.
Though the screening test can be performed on anyone, regular testing is recommended for those who are in a high risk group. There are certain factors that increase the risks of developing brain tumors and cancers. Some of these risk factors are increased levels of radiations in the upper body due to a previously received therapy, suppression of immune system as in those who suffer from HIV/ AIDS, occupational exposure to hazardous material, or previous instances of cancer.
For those of you who go directly to the doctor in order to get checked for brain tumors, a series of tests are administered. The doctor usually makes a diagnosis after the test results; however, the initial diagnosis is based on the examination of symptoms. For instance, if you already have had a family history or a personal history of cancer, the tests given to you will be more specific.
The tests that are performed for diagnosis of brain cancer include a neurological exam to determine the functioning of the central nervous system. Your memory, reasoning, and other neurological functions will be tested in this examination. MRI scans are also conducted to get a complete picture of the brain. The hormone levels are checked through a blood test and a urine test is also done.