Man with symptoms of drunkenness discovers brain tumor

Man with symptoms of drunkenness discovers brain tumor

Englishman Keith Jackson, 54, was in Portugal while his family stayed in the UK. During a routine call to see how things were going, Keith’s daughter thought her father was disoriented and that he had been drinking too much. He could barely finish sentences.

In fact, the Briton had advanced signs of a brain tumor. Keith was diagnosed with glioblastoma, a type of cancer that affects the Central Nervous System and causes loss of neurological functions, shortly after the phone call.

The patient returned to the UK to undergo cancer treatment close to his family. But in February 2020, about three months after his diagnosis, he passed away.

Family tragedy prompted Keith’s daughter, Lianne Jackson, to volunteer. She is dedicated to raising money for research aimed at curing brain cancer. The project tells stories similar to Keith’s to help with diagnosis and, in this way, facilitate treatment.

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Signs of brain cancer

According to the National Cancer Institute (Inca), some signs may indicate brain cancer. Find out what they are:

  • More severe headaches: It is not just any common headache that raises suspicion of this cancer. See a doctor when you have never felt pain, change in type of headache, worsen pain intensity and increase in frequency.
  • Epilepsy or other seizures: especially when the patient has the seizure for the first time, or had not been diagnosed with epilepsy before.
  • Loss of neurological functions: when there is loss of strength or touch in the limbs; of vision or hearing; changes in speech or intellectual ability (understanding, reasoning, writing, calculating, recognizing people) or in behavior (apathy, agitation or aggression) in relation to the person’s normal pattern.

Treatment

Brain tumors are complex to treat and involve several different health professionals, such as physical therapists, nurses, speech therapists and nutritionists. The process starts with the neurosurgeon and involves surgery to remove the tumor or tissue fragment for biopsy.

The material removed in surgery is examined by the pathologist to reach the definitive diagnosis, important to know the specific type of treatment for the patient. The next steps and evolution will depend on the type of tumor.

After that, treatment involves the clinical oncologist, with planning chemotherapy and radiation therapy sessions. All follow-up will be done jointly by the neurosurgeon, the clinical oncologist and the radiotherapist.

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