Cancer Home > 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
- Skull x-ray
- Spinal tap
(Click Brain Tumor Diagnosis for more information about diagnosing brain cancer.)
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.
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:
- Surgery (see Brain Cancer Surgery)
- Chemotherapy (see Brain Cancer and Chemotherapy)
- Radiation therapy (see Brain Cancer Radiation Treatment).
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.)