How long can you have only headaches before you can say, “It can’t possibly be a brain tumor because so much time has gone by without any other symptoms”?
“There are many different types of brain tumors, and brain tumors can vary in size and location,” says Sumeer Sathi, MD, a neurosurgeon and founding member of Long Island Neuroscience Specialists who treats brain tumors
“Symptoms, therefore, can vary greatly. Not all brain tumors cause headaches, but in some cases, headaches may be the only symptom of a brain tumor.
“Headaches that persist or worsen should be further evaluated to rule out the possibility of a brain tumor.
“Brain tumors may only cause headaches.”
A brain tumor may cause only a headache by the time a person sees a physician about the solitary symptom — and not long after gets the diagnosis.
Dr. Sathi adds, “The duration of having headaches-only depends on the type of tumor, size and location.
“People should still be evaluated by a specialist even if the only symptoms are headaches.”
In short, if you develop a new pattern of headaches, or some kind of head pain that you’ve never before experienced, you should not assume that the cause can’t be a brain tumor just because there are no other new symptoms.
In theory, one might eventually develop additional symptoms if treatment is delayed for long enough.
But the reality is that in an industrialized society, people suffering from new-onset headaches that won’t go away and especially if they’re getting more painful will seek medical attention – even if they’re not insured.
Dr. Sathi’s expertise includes spine surgery and treating brain tumors including metastasis, gliomas, meningiomas and acoustic neuromas using gamma knife radiosurgery. Long Island Neuroscience Specialists is a multidisciplinary group of neuro-spine surgeons and an interventional pain management anesthesiologist.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.