How is a brain tumor diagnosed?

How is a brain tumor diagnosed?

Brain tumor diagnosis is based on the clinical history and medical examination of the neurological status. The physical examination includes a detailed neurological examination. The doctor will see if your cranial nerves (The nerves that originate in your brain) are intact by conducting a series of tests. Your doctor will look inside your eyes with an ophthalmoscope, to ascertain m directly into your eyes to see if there’s any swelling of the optic nerve. Optic nerve changes can occur when the pressure inside the skull increases. The doctor may evaluate your muscle strength, coordination, ability to try and do mathematical calculations, memory, etc

After the physical exam, your doctor may advise some more tests. Your doctor may consider some of these factors before choosing a diagnostic test:

  • The type of tumor suspected
  • Your age and general health
  • The results of earlier medical tests
  • Your signs and symptoms

Some of the symptoms of a brain tumor are


Cognitive decline


Speech problems


Loss of vision

Changes in personality

Hearing problems

Speech problems

The diagnostic tests may be considered according to the symptoms, the tumor suspected and the general health which may include:

  • CT scan — C T Scans of the head would detect any gross abnormalities in the brain and skull.
  • MRI of the head- It generally provides more detailed pictures of the structures of the brain itself.
  • Angiography- It allows your doctor to visualize what the blood supply of the tumors appears like

Functional MRI & Diffusion tensor imaging (DTI): MRI to assess the blood flow to the local parts of the brain and brain activity by measuring the microscopic water movements in the brain and also evaluates the white matter. It tells about the location of certain structures in the brain which help plan the treatment of patients with a brain tumor in a better manner.

  • Skull X-rays- Breaks or fractures in the bones of the skull may be caused by brain tumors.
  • Biopsy-A small piece of the tumor is obtained and the biopsy will identify if the tumor cells are benign or malignant. It will also determine whether cancer originated in your brain or any other part of your body.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, Early treatment can prevent complications. All Brain tumors may not require surgery. Sometimes the tumor might need only medication to treat it properly, a number of the brain tumors can be life-threatening if left alone.

Therefore, a brain tumour isn’t something to be feared about. Some of these may be easily removed and the patient can lead a normal life. Even in cases with malignant brain tumors, advanced treatment can help provide a far better quality of life for patients.

Visit us at Neurosurgery if you’re worried about any symptoms you’re experiencing and for early detection of brain tumors.

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