The doctor may ask about your symptoms and health history. A neurological exam may be done. Testing may help narrow down the cause of the problem.
These tests may be done:
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Other tests may be done, such as:
If a brain tumor is confirmed, the results from the tests will help determine the stage of the cancer. Staging is the evaluation of where a tumor has spread to. It is used with other information, such as molecular testing. Staging is not done for all types of brain tumors.
Tumor grades help predict the rate of growth, if it will spread, and outcomes that may happen. Brain tumors grades are:
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Horinski C, Ligon KL, et al. The medical necessity of advanced molecular testing in the diagnosis and treatment of brain tumor patients. Neuro Oncol. 2019;21(12):1498-1508.
Lukas RV, Taylor JW, et al. Clinical neuro-oncology for the neurologist. Neurol Clin Pract. 2020;10(5):458-465.
Lukas RV, Wainwright DA, et al. Newly diagnosed glioblastoma: a review on clinical management. Oncology. 2019;33(3):91-100.
Meningioma. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/meningioma. Accessed July 13, 2021.
Overview of intracranial tumors. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/neurologic-disorders/intracranial-and-spinal-tumors/overview-of-intracranial-tumors. Accessed July 14, 2021.
Tests for brain and spinal cord tumors in adults. American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/brain-spinal-cord-tumors-adults/detection-diagnosis-staging/how-diagnosed.html. Accessed July 14, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Rimas Lukas, MD Last Updated: 7/14/2021