Diagnosing Brain Tumors
If you suffer from any of the initial signs of a brain tumor, your doctor will likely conduct some or all of the following tests:
- A physical exam to determine your overall health.
- A neurologic exam to evaluate brain and spinal cord function.
- Imaging studies, such as CT, MRI or PET scans, to look for signs of a brain tumor.
- If studies or scans indicate you might have a brain tumor, some tissue may be taken from the tumor to make an exact diagnosis. This test is called a biopsy.
- A spinal tap may also be performed to look for tumor cells. During this test, a needle is placed in the lower back to obtain a sample of cerebrospinal fluid. This fluid is then examined to see if tumor cells are present.