Brain Cancer: Tests


One or more of the following are common tests for a brain tumor.

Neurologic Exam

Your doctor will conduct tests of your vision, hearing, alertness and muscle strength (including coordination and reflexes). Your doctor will also check for swelling of the eyes, which can be caused by a brain tumor pushing on the nerve that connects the eye to the brain.


Also known as Magnetic Resonance Imaging. A large machine that uses magnetics linked to a computer to take detailed pictures of your brain. Your doctor may also use special dyes (called contrast material) that are injected into the blood vessel of your arm or hand, which make abnormal areas of the brain (such as a tumor) more easily detectable.

CT Scan

A three-dimensional picture of the inside of the head is taken with an x-ray machine. A computer then combines these images into a detailed, cross-sectional view that shows any abnormalities or tumors.

To further help in detecting any potential brain tumors, your doctor may request other related tests such as an angiogram, spinal tap and/or a biopsy.