People were found to experience multiple subtle changes before being diagnosed with a brain tumor, said a recent study from King's College London and Cambridge University.
The study focused on these changes as missed opportunities to diagnose brain tumors earlier, and how increased awareness of these changes could lead to more rapid investigation and referral. Following on from that study, Dr Suzanne Scott from King's College London has published a paper in PLOS ONE which focuses on what patients and their families thought about those changes and how they decided to seek medical help - often on more than one occasion.
"We have previously highlighted that people may experience multiple subtle changes before being diagnosed with a brain tumor", explains Dr Scott, Senior Lecturer in Health Psychology. "For instance, changes in sleep, memory, speaking, concentration, and balance, sensations, and senses or feeling 'not me'."
The study showed that patients often thought the changes were normal or due to age, stress, tiredness and nothing to worry about. Some patients had thought it would be silly to go the doctor with such seemingly minor issues and did not want to waste the GP's time, especially if there were more pressing things to do.