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Diagnosis

See your GP if you develop any of the symptoms of a benign (non-cancerous) brain tumour, such as a new, persistent headache.

They'll examine you, ask about your symptoms, and may also carry out a simple neurological examination.

If they suspect you may have a tumour or aren't sure what's causing your symptoms, they may refer you to a brain and nerve specialist (a neurologist) for further investigation.

Neurological examination

Your GP or neurologist may test your nervous system to check for problems associated with a brain tumour.

This may involve testing your:

Further tests

Other tests you may have to help diagnose a brain tumour include:

If a tumour is suspected, a biopsy may be carried out to establish the type of tumour and the most effective treatment.

Under anaesthetic, a small hole is made in the skull and a very fine needle is used to take a sample of tumour tissue.

You may need to stay in hospital for a few days after having a biopsy, although sometimes it's carried out as a day case and you may be able to go home on the same day.