Diagnosis of Brain Tumors
by Michael Jubinville, MPH
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms, and health and family history. Your nerves, muscles, and coordination will be carefully checked. The doctor may also look for signs of brain swelling. Testing will help narrow down the cause of the problems.
Diagnosis of a Brain Tumor
You may need:
Other tests will help find certain facts about the tumor. This is needed to make a treatment plan. Tests may include:
A biopsy is the removal of a small piece of tissue to be looked at in a lab. They can also help find if the tumor is more likely to spread to other places in the brain. If a biopsy can’t be done, imaging tests may be able to find enough information.
A biopsy may be:
Staging of a Brain Tumor TOP
Staging is a way to classify malignant primary brain tumors. It's one of many ways used to make a treatment plan.
Tumor and Patient Characteristics
Tumor characteristics that are needed include:
Patient characteristics include:
The best ways to predict how well someone may do are with the patient’s age and functional status. As a rule, younger patients do better. So do those who have very few symptoms because of the tumor.
All cancers are graded to find the most updated treatment. The preferred grading system is by the World Health Organization (WHO). The tumor grades help predict the rate of growth, if it will spread, and potential outcomes.
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General information about adult central nervous system tumors. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/brain/patient/adult-brain-treatment-pdq. Updated July 5, 2018. Accessed August 8, 2018.
Meningioma. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T116926/Meningioma. Updated January 19, 2017. Accessed August 8, 2018.
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. Updated June 2018. Accessed August 8, 2018.
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. Updated November 6, 2018. Accessed August 8, 2018.
Last reviewed June 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 8/8/2018
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