I am a very healthy 37 year old woman. A month ago I began to experience MS-type symptoms: numbness in hands, face, dizziness, minor weakness. I saw a neurologist, who ordered cervical and brain MRIs, with and w/o contrast. No real MS-like lesions were found. They did find something surprising. In the anterior portion of my right temporal lobe there is a "well-circumscribed focus of low signal intensity on T1, weighted and FLAIR images, becoming high signal intensity on T2 weighted images, measuring about 6 x 6 x 7 mm in size. Surrounding this focus is a slightly more irregular, slightly ill-defined focal refion measuring 1.7 x 1.0 x 1.3 cm. This larger region displays high signal intensity on the FLAIR images and T2 weighted images and intermediate signal intensity on the T1 weighted images." There was no contrast enhancement on either image. No evidence of calcificiation or methemoglobin.
The radiologist felt that this was somewhat consistent with a cyst because of the low signal intensity and eccentric central region, but that the surrounding edema is more indicative of tumor. I saw a neurosurgeon yesterday who said he think this is definitely a low-grade tumor, and that we should do another MRI in 3 months to see if it has changed in size. He said that sometimes low-grade gliomas or astrocytomas can go for up to 10 years beforing requiring any treatment. He also thinks that the symptoms (numbness, etc.) which initially prompted the MRI are related to something else, as none of my symptoms are caused by the anterior portion of the temporal lobe.
Do you think there is any chance this is a cyst?
If this is a low-grade glioma type of tumor, are there risks to waiting for 3 months?
When we talked to the neurosurgeon, we felt pretty good that this is a manageable condition, not likely to become life-threatening. However, when I started to research low-grade gliomas and astrocytomas, I became very concerned about the possibility of this spreading and becoming a more malignant form of cancer.
Any thoughts? I appreciate any feedback. This is very frightening.
I can only share some info when my husband had a low grade 2 astrocytoma for 10 years. Biopsy is the only way to know for sure. A neurosurgeon in our town was going to do a full brain surgery to do the biopsy but I found out that they can do a little burr hole for this known as a stereotactic biopsy, so don't let anyone tell you that you need big surgery for that, this is very common now I think. He had his care at UCSF San Francisco, they have been leaders in the field of brain tumors. His always showed up on MRI with contrast. You could possibly send your scans there for a second opinion and I would recommend that since the local doctors here were not very skilled at reading his scans and there are questions on yours that it may be a cyst. I would follow up to find out for sure as it may affect treatment options. People have benign growths also but this is not though slow growing. My husband's was in the parietal, occipital then temoral region, inoperable in his case. He had seizures, when they got worse he had radiation but it came back, also had chemo then. He lived 10 years. I can't speak for others, only that the grade 1 and 2 are more slow growing. I know they do surgery and also gamma knife, a type of radiation that is very localized and other treatments and would think there are many success stories if complteley removed or treated. My personal opinion is that a recheck in 3 months sounds appropriate unless you had more symptoms but keep checking at regular intervals. My husband was at first told to recheck in a year as they weren't sure what it was and he didn't do that because he felt well but there had been some growth. I also sent his scans to Dr. Keith Black, a neurosurgeon at Mount Sinai in Los Angeles area. There was an article about his work in Newsweek magazine for innovative work on brain tumors, he gave an opinion for free. The National Brain Tumor Foundation is a great resource for info. This may in no way be your problem at all, but felt I should pass along the info as knowledge can be empowering. Press for answers and the very best of luck to you.
My daughter, 29 years old, just found out she has a "glioma" of some sort in her right frontal lobe (behind right eyeball). She recently had two seizures within one hour, and that is what prompted the MRI which showed the area (low grade glioma). She had no prior history of any medical condition, VERY healthy. Surgery is recommended to remove the glioma (a pathologist with grade the sample when the surgeons get a piece during surgery). The EEG showed abnormality in the left temporal lobe! It was initially thought the seizure was caused by the glioma. We are now just wondering if anyone else could offer any info? Thanks.
I am 39 and have just been diagnosed with a low grade glioma tumour. I have been aware of it for just three months and due back for a scan in December. apparently this is a normal procedure and is the best way forward for the time being for me. I will have scans every three months.
I have developed absence-epilepsy, its the fainting version except I do not hit the floor just go off for 5-6 seconds and finding it ok to cope with. I am on Lamotrigine tablets and its working well.
The epilepsy is my only sympton at the moment. My tumour is sitting in my speech area and the surgeon has said she would prefer to leave surgery for as long as possible as I may lose the ability to speak and have to learn again.
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