How are Brain tumors diagnosed?
A brain tumor is an abnormal mass of uncontrolled growing tissues, these tumors can develop in any part of the brain such as in its base or the lining. The brain is the control center of the body, these tumors may affect different neurological functions depending on the part of the brain being affected. There are over 120 types of brain tumors. Generally, brain tumors are categorized into two broad categories i.e. primary and secondary tumors. Primary tumors are non-cancerous and develop within the brain however secondary tumors are cancerous and are metastasized from tumors of any other part of the body. There are various ways to diagnose these tumors depending on their location, size, and type. These diagnostic tools and measures are briefly explained here by India’s best neurosurgeon Dr. Kalyan Bommakanti.
- General health investigation:
Normal functioning of the body is checked according to the symptoms being noticed. It also includes family history, past medical and surgical history, and current and past medication history.
2. A neurological examination:
The normal functioning of cranial nerves such as balance, hearing, vision, reflexes, and coordination are examined through special tests to rule out any neurological deficits. Any abnormality seen in one or more functions may indicate the presence of a tumor affecting the particular part of the brain responsible for that function.
3. Diagnostic imaging:
The diagnosis of tumors can be a complicated process, it requires a team of different specialists. Usually, a brain tumor is discovered while performing diagnostic tests for some other medical issues. Imaging includes an MRI, a CT scan, or a PET scan.
To perform a biopsy, a part of the brain tissue needs to be obtained during an operation or can be performed using a needle. The brain tissue is extracted through the needle by drilling a hole in the skull, this tissue is then frequently guided by CT or MRI. The biopsy is done to see if the tissue is cancerous or not.
5. Spinal tap:
Lumbar puncture is done using a small needle to extract CSF from the spine. Laboratory tests are done on that fluid to look for cancerous material.