Members of Lahey's Brain Tumor Clinic team—including a neurosurgeon, neuro-oncologist, neuropathologist and neuroradiologist—work collaboratively when evaluating a patient with a potential brain tumor diagnosis. One or more of the following examinations and tests may be performed:
In addition to the examinations and tests discussed above, your neurosurgeon may perform a biopsy. Biopsy involves removing a small tissue sample to look for tumor cells. In some cases, the tissue sample is obtained by resecting (removing) the entire tumor. Obtaining tumor tissue is the only way to make a definitive brain tumor diagnosis. Following a biopsy, the neuropathologist examines the cells under a microscope to check for abnormalities. The biopsy may reveal cancer, tissue changes that may lead to cancer, or other conditions. Sometimes obtaining a tissue sample is not possible. If the tumor is located in the brainstem or other vital areas of the brain, the neurosurgeon may not be able to remove tissue from the tumor without damaging normal brain tissue. In these cases, MRI, CT and/or other imaging tests are used instead.