How are brain tumors identified?

Imaging & pathology. As others have noted the first step to finding a brain tumor is an imaging study such as ct or mri. The former is faster and cheaper but may miss small tumors. Once a tumor is found, a tissue diagnosis is needed, either open surgery or biopsy. This would require a neurosurgeon to tell you what is best.
MRI , then biopsy. Usually patinets present with new neurologic symptom. Seizure, headache, nausea, vometing, stroke like symptoms next imaging usually a MRI scan is obtained biopsy confirms pathologic diagnosis.
See below. Might be tough if no biopsy and microscopic pathology. Yet location might help, as might MRI characteristics. Meningioma seems to be peripheral at the coverings of the brain. Childhood glioma may be central brainstem. Gliobastoma multiforme varies in appearance and texture on the mri. A metastasis may be surrounded with a ring of swelling (edema). Gold standard, a piece of the tumor to diag.

Related Questions

What causes brain tumors?

Multi-factorial. There are 4 things that contribute to all tumors: 1. Genetics 2. Mutation inducing factors (examples: smoking, drinking, etc). 3. Aging 3. Unknown causes (there are definitely people without family history or obvious "bad habits" that develop brain tumors). Read more...
Great question. Have no clue. Probably some genetic susceptibility for certain types of tumors, and we do know that pts taking certain immunosuppressant meds are at risk for leukemias and solid cancers. The biggest issue is the glioma and why it can evolve into a highly malignant local tumor. Hang in there, research is on-going. Read more...

Is brain tumors soft or hard?

May be either. This can only be determined by the neurosurgeon during brain surgery. Read more...
Most are soft. Most but not all primary brain tumors (those formed from cells that belong to the brain) are very soft. They usually contain no bone or cartilage and have very little collagen (fibrous tissue) and are therefore often soft and jelly-like. Rare examples are firmer or hard. Some tumor types, such as meningiomas, may be significantly firm with much collagen or even calcification. Read more...
Varies. At the time of surgery, the consistency of the tumor varies depending on the pathologic type and whether or not there are calcifications. This is important as it affects the resectability of the tumor. Primary gliomas (frequently malignant) tend to be soft. Meningiomas or schwannomas, both benign tend to be firm and can often be calcified. Read more...

How are brain tumors treated?

Tough area. Some brain tumors are benign (most meningiomas), but others are far more difficult (gliomas and secondary cancers). Treatment varies, but includes surgery, radiation, gamma knife, and occasional chemotherapy. If the situation becomes complex, additional interventions such as various medications, and shunts may be employed. Read more...

What are the types of brain tumors?

Many. There are way too many types of brain tumors to list in 400 letters. In short, we grade brain tumors from grade 1 (benign) to grade 4 (cancer). The most common example of grade 1 tumors are pituitary tumors and meningiomas. The most common grade 4 tumor is glioblastoma (gbm). Read more...
Multiple. There are primary tumors: meningiomas, oligodendrogliomas, gliomas (potentially highly dangerous if transforms), neuroblastomas, hamartomas, colloid cysts, just to list a few. These vary in location and benignity. Secondary tumors are called metastases, and come from skin, lung, kidney, and other primary cancer sites. More information can be found at mayo clinic site. Read more...
Several. The most common types of brain tumors are actually from the spread of another cancer to the brain. After this the most common cerebral tumors are grade 4 tumors called glioblastoma or gbm. Of course there are other benign tumor that come from the coverings of the brain. Other tumors can come from the fluid cavities or pituitary gland and have varied degrees of aggressiveness. Read more...

Are brain tumors rare in a 23yo female?

Yes, that's rare. Brain tumors are more common than some realize but they aren't especially common in people in their 20s, male or female. Most people in their 20s who have severe headaches suffer from migraine or another primary headache disorder. Epilepsy is another thing that can cause worry about a tumor, but usually there is none present. Why do you ask? Read more...
Brain Tumor in 23 yo. Brain tumors are pretty rare in 23 year olds, but the incidence of brain tumors is increasing lately due to cell phone use and holding the smart phones up to your head. Read more...

How come primary brain tumors are rare?

Blood brain barrier. Among the more common tumor, exogenous factors are frequent. Breast, prostate and lymphoma mostly viral in origin, same for vial sarcomas, squamous hpv lesion. These factors don't seem to cross blood brain barrier. Read more...

Do brain tumors respond to OTC medicine?

Sorry, no way. Unfortunately, many brain tumors are somewhat resistant to newer meds, and may or may not respond to steroids and irradiation. But, a variety of tumors do respond to surgical extirpation. Would be nice to have a otc approach, but doubt we will ever find a simple approach like that. Read more...
No. Depending on what kind of tumor it is, it may need surgery and/or radiation and/or chemotherapy. Read more...

What can cause brain tumors in children?

Brain tumors. In most cases of pediatric brain tumors the cause is not known. There are genetic studies being done that are starting to locate markers and mutations that can cause tumors of this type. There are also some rare inherited syndromes that have a higher incidence of brain tumors but these are rare. Read more...

What brain test can pick up brain tumors?

Exam and scan. The first step to be evaluated for a brain tumor is to have a physician do a full neurological examination. Depending on the results of this (and your symptoms), a brain scan such as a ct or MRI may be the next step. Read more...
CT OR MRI. A ct scan of the head or an MRI of the brain can pick up brain tumors. An MRI is a more sensitive test but takes longer to do. Read more...