MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): MRI uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to provide a clear picture of your body’s soft tissues.
3T MRI: This high-tech MRI scanner provides more detailed scans for greater accuracy in diagnosis.
Open MRI: Open MRI allows your doctor to treat you during the scan; for example, the doctor could perform a real-time brain tumor biopsy.
Functional MRI: Doctors know generally which areas of the brain are responsible for speech, sensation, memory and other functions, but the precise locations of those centers can vary from person to person. Brain tumors can also shift the location of these centers. A functional MRI (fMRI) helps your doctor accurately map your brain, which is critical when planning surgery, radiation therapy and other interventional treatments.
16-slice CT (computed tomography): A 16-slice CT provides cross-sectional images of your brain with even greater speed and more precise detail than a conventional CT.
PET/CT: These scans provide your doctor with the anatomical data yielded by a CT scan and the metabolic information from a PET scan. This can help pinpoint smaller tumors and show the extent of metastatic cancer.
Neuropsychological exam: If you’re having cognitive difficulties or a change in your thinking abilities, your doctor may refer you for a neuropsychological evaluation. These evaluations assess memory, learning, attention, concentration, processing speed, verbal comprehension, visual perception, basic motor and sensory functions, reasoning, problem solving and more.
If you are diagnosed with a neurological cancer, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Surgery: Some neurological cancers can be removed surgically, although surgery is often combined with chemotherapy, radiation or immunotherapy.