Brain tumor

Standard diagnostic method

How much can be learned by undergoing tests?

Present-day diagnostic imaging (CT and MRI) means that it is highly unlikely that tumors in an advanced condition will go undetected. Telling the type of disease or whether a tumor is benign or malignant from a single test can be difficult, however, and repeated scanning or additional use of a different type of diagnostic imaging device (SPECT or PET, representing "nuclear medicine scanning") may be required. Diagnosis of early-stage tumors may also require the use of more closely targeted scanning (for example, some pituitary tumors are so small that they cannot be determined using regular MRI), as judged from the behaviors and characteristics of the tumors.

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