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Brain Cancer

Diagnosing Brain Cancer

If a person has possible symptoms of brain cancer, the doctor will perform a physical exam, ask about the patient's personal and family medical history, and recommend additional tests and procedures.
Exams and tests that are used to make a diagnosis may include:
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan
  • Angiogram
  • Skull x-ray
  • Spinal tap
  • Myelogram
  • Biopsy.
(Click Brain Tumor Diagnosis for more information about diagnosing brain cancer.)

Tumor Grade

Doctors sometimes group brain tumors by grade -- from low grade (grade I) to high grade (grade IV). The grade of a tumor refers to the way the cells look under a microscope. Brain cancer cells from high-grade tumors look more abnormal and generally grow faster than cells from low-grade tumors.

How Is It Treated?

Treatment for brain cancer varies based on:
  • The type of brain tumor
  • The size and location of the tumor
  • The brain tumor grade
  • The patient's general health.
In general, treatment options can include:
Patients should work with their doctor to develop a treatment plan that meets their medical needs and personal values. Choosing a treatment plan is a decision that ideally involves the patient, the family, and the healthcare team.
(Click Brain Cancer Treatment for more information.)
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