A Simple Home Test for Brain Tumors

Testing for tumors

I went to see my neurologist this morning, or more accurately, I saw her nurse practitioner, as my neurologist is increasingly difficult to see as she’s spending more time teaching and less time examining patients. It might have something to do with that baby she had a few years ago.

Anyway when the nurse was taking me through the standard set of tests, we came to the one that I always hate. She asked me to walk by placing my feet directly in front of each other, as if I’m walking on a tightrope. I can do it, but it’s surprisingly tricky. I usually need to stick my arms out just a wee bit for balance.

Try it and see how well you do.

So I asked her what she’s testing by having me do that, and the answer surprised me.

“We don’t have an MRI machine here,” she replied, “so we have to make do with what we can. If you had walked like this—”

And here she demonstrated by flailing her feet out from under her.

“—that would be an indication that you have a tumor in the back of your brain. But you can do that test just fine, so the good news is you probably don’t have a brain tumor.” She smiled triumphantly as she said this.

Good news indeed.

Not that the thought had even occurred to me.

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