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How Are Brain Tumors Diagnosed?

Diagnosis of a brain tumor typically begins with a neurological examination.

A review of the patient's medical history and a physical exam is performed when a patient complains of symptoms that suggest a brain tumor. The neurological exam is also performed which includes examination of eye movements, hearing, muscle movement, balance, coordination, sense of smell, etc.

Imaging & Biopsies

Once initial evaluations are completed, patients may undergo neuroimaging such as an MRI, CT and/or PET scan. Your neurologist may also suggest a biopsy in which a small sample of tissue is surgically removed from the suspected tumor and examined under a microscope for malignance. The results of the biopsy also provide information on the cancer cell type.

Diagnostic & Therapeutic Tools

Other diagnostic and therapeutic tools include:

  • Magnetoencephalography (MEG)
  • CT scan
  • MRI scan
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (MRS)
  • Functional MRI (fMRI)
  • Selective cerebral angiography with pre-op tumor embolization
  • Frameless stereotactic navigation
  • Gamma Knife
  • Intra-cavitary chemotherapy
  • Intra-operative neurophysiology
  • Intra-operative ultrasound guidance
  • Micro-neurosurgical techniques
  • Tumor resection with motor and/or language mapping