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Brain & Nervous System Disorders Message Board

Brain & Nervous System Disorders Board Index

Hi all just want to warn people that short (10-15 seconds) sharp stabbing pains to the head can be a very significant sign that a brain tumor is present. My 18yo son was having these numerous times a day - and each time we took him to the doctor they would insinuate that perhaps he was getting a migraine or as they mainly come on after any physical activity, exertion headaches. He had suffered with this for some time and then last tuesday got a massive headache from nowhere at 11pm and began throwing up saying his head was going to explode...he could barely walk and so i took him to hospital. By the time we got there (15 minutes) his lips and eyelids and entire face began to swell. They immediately got him a cat scan which revealed a 3cm diametre tumor on his brain with a 12cm diametre cyst overlying it. The pressure on the brain was so much so that they did not think he would make it to the operating room. Thank god he did survive and is making a remarkable recovery. If not for an observant dr that insisted on a cat scan he would not be with us today. My son also had other problems such as vertigo, dizziness and loss of balance - but this was ALWAYS put down to an ear problem. So PLEASE if you experience these 'short sharp pains' to the head - please insist on a catscan or MRI as even though it could be nothing at all - it could also very well save your life!!

I scoured the net many times looking for information on short sharp stabbing pains to head and found numerous people enquiring about the same thing - but with no results, other than 'exertion headaches' hopefully this post may get others to insist on getting a catscan - as this was the major symptom to my sons tumor.

His tumor was a pilocytic astrocytoma, which is relatively benign (can change if not caught) although the tumor was not the immediate risk to his life last week, rather the overlying cyst and pressure on brain was, it could of had potentially fatal consequences if not acted upon so quickly. This tumor generally affects younger children (my son was just unlucky to get it at his age), and if picked up upon early enough can have an excellent cure rate. My boy will now have MRIs regularly (as although most of the tumor has been removed - residual cancer cells are still there) just to make sure it does not get aggresive - if any changes come about he will get hit with radiation and chemo to blast the rest of the tumor away, at present they say has already been thru enough will just watch and see.

Hey Cin,
Well thanks for the reply it helped a bit. I felt a little better
when you said that the checking of my eyes would give the docs
a sign if there was some kind of pressure going on inside my head,
and yet they said it looked fabulous in there compared to what
your son was experiencing. The sharp pain that i had got would
only be a couple of seconds and they weren't crippling but i had
never felt that before so i had got concerned about the health of
my brain. I still would like to try to push for at least a CT Scan, when
or of i go to the doctor just to rule out some things. But thanks
for the reply.

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