Understanding Your Diagnosis
Tests that Help Evaluate a Brain Tumor
X-rays of the Skull
X-rays of the skull may be performed to diagnose fractures of the bones of the skull, birth defects, tumors, and certain disorders that cause bone defects of the skull. Skull X-rays may also be used to evaluate the nasal sinuses and detect calcifications within the brain.
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Brain
CT scans of the brain can provide detailed information about brain tissue and brain structures than standard x-rays of the head, thus providing more information related to injuries and/or diseases of the brain.
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Spine
A CT scan of the spine may be performed to assess the spine for a herniated disk, tumors and other lesions, the extent of injuries, structural anomalies such as spina bifida, blood vessel malformations, or other conditions.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Spine and Brain
MRI may be used to examine the brain and/or spinal cord for injuries or the presence of structural abnormalities or certain other conditions, including tumors or aneurysms.
Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan)
Positron emission tomography (PET) is a specialized radiology procedure used to examine various body tissues to identify certain conditions. PET may also be used to follow the progress of the treatment of certain conditions.
The EEG is used to evaluate several types of brain disorders, including epilepsy, Alzheimer's disease, certain psychoses, and certain sleep disorders.
A craniotomy is the surgical removal of part of the bone from the skull to expose the brain.
I've Just Been Told I Have a Brain Tumor
It’s OK to feel overwhelmed and afraid. But you shouldn’t let those feelings stop you from finding out as much as you can about your cancer and about the options you have.
Understanding Your Grade of Brain Tumor
Before your doctor can recommend a treatment plan, he or she needs to know the grade of the cancer. The grade tells your doctor how malignant the tumor is and how it might respond to treatment.
A myelogram, also known as myelography, is a procedure that combines the use of dye with x-rays or CT scans to assess the spinal cord, subarachnoid space, or other structures for abnormalities, particularly when another type of examination, such as a standard x-ray, is inconclusive.