Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Cancer Brain Evaluation

The evaluation of brain cancer begins with a medical history and physical examination.

Some brain cancer patients have no findings on physical examination. In others, physical findings can suggest the specific location of the tumor in the brain.

Physical findings in those with brain cancer may include:

The diagnosis of brain cancer requires testing.

Tests that may be used to evaluate brain cancer include:

Cancer Brain Biopsy

During a brain biopsy, a neurosurgeon removes a small sample of brain tissue through a small hole in the skull. The tissue will then be examined under a microscope, in order to determine the type of cells causing the cancer.

Patients with metastatic brain cancer from a cancer in another part of the body usually do not require a brain biopsy. Sometimes a brain tumor biopsy is the first evidence that there is cancer in another organ, such as the lung, prostate or breast.

Continue to Cancer Brain Treatment

Last Updated: Dec 2, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Cancer Brain References
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  2. Ichimura K, Ohgaki H, Kleihues P, Collins VP. Molecular pathogenesis of astrocytic tumours. J Neurooncol. 2004 Nov;70(2):137-60. [15674475]
  3. Kaal EC, Niel CG, Vecht CJ. Therapeutic management of brain metastasis. Lancet Neurol. 2005 May;4(5):289-98. [15847842]
  4. See SJ, Gilbert MR. Anaplastic astrocytoma: diagnosis, prognosis, and management. Semin Oncol. 2004 Oct;31(5):618-34. [15497115]
  5. Tsao MN, Lloyd NS, Wong RK, Rakovitch E, Chow E, Laperriere N; Supportive Care Guidelines Group of Cancer Care Ontario's Program in Evidence-based Care. Radiotherapeutic management of brain metastases: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Cancer Treat Rev. 2005 Jun;31(4):256-73. [15951117]
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