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A 47-year-old member asked:

Ct scans good for catching brain tumors? i did a ct scan several months ago because i was having head and neck pain. the ct scan turned out to be normal, but the head and neck pain have returned. i was wondering what the odds are that the ct scan missed

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine 39 years experience
Based : Based on the symptoms you are describing, it is extremely unlikely that the previous ct scan missed a brain tumor. Occasionally a ct scan can miss a brain tumor if it is very small. However, there are dozens of possible causes of head and neck pain, and it is unusual for a brain tumor to only cause head and neck pain without other signs or symptoms. Now, add to that the fact that you already had a ct of the head which showed no tumor. I would not worry about a brain tumor unless additional symptoms develop such as seizure, paralysis, loss of feeling in the extremities, vision loss, etc.
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Dr. Mark Weston
Orthopedic Spine Surgery 33 years experience
They aregood: Mri are better more sensitive as are ct with contrast or pet enhanced plain ct 83% sensitive congrats on normal ct . This should reassure you along with symptoms which come and go symptoms that go most neck pain is muscular and stress related with associated headaches common tension symptoms brain tumor is far down on the list when you hear hoof beats they are probably not zebras.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Mar 12, 2020


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