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what to do
As with most cancers, the symptoms of brain tumours are diffuse and confusing, and are often initially attributed to viruses, neurological problems, or even emotional problems. Most parents of children diagnosed with brain tumours report variations of the symptoms listed on the warning signs page, symptoms that had no apparent cause and may have lasted for several months before the paediatricians ordered the tests which diagnosed a brain tumour.

Parents of children with brain tumours advise other parents to rely on their own "gut feelings". When you feel that your child is not what he used to be, do take the child to the doctor. Persistency of symptoms is also important. While it is appropriate to wait to take your child to the doctor if you observe the listed symptoms, if those symptoms persist, go to the doctor. If necessary, insist on the tests listed on the next page, even if the doctor disagrees. On occasion, a child's teacher may notice a change in behaviour pattern or performance; take your child's teacher seriously. Ophthalmologists are sometimes the specialists who correctly diagnose brain tumours, so an eye exam is appropriate when vision problems are apparent.

*If your child is a baby, the only symptom may be a head that is growing too fast. Because an infant skull can grow to accommodate the extra volume of a tumour, a baby may present with an enlarged head.