Brain lesions are abnormalities of brain tissue which may be seen as dark or light spots on MRI or CT scans. Brain cancer is the accumulated growth of cancerous cells, or tumors. However, not all brain tumors are cancerous. For the purposes of this article, the term ‘brain lesions’ will include brain cancer.
Screening for brain lesions is the process of looking for cancer in people without symptoms. At this point, there are no recommended tests to screen for brain lesions. This is to avoid unnecessary radiation exposure on people who are healthy.
Types of Imaging for Brain Lesions
Brain lesions are often found accidentally while scanning for other conditions. Otherwise, tests to identify abnormalities in the brain usually occur after symptoms appear. At that point, several different tests may be performed.
Techniques Used to Identify Brain Lesions Include:
Imaging: Computed Tomography (CT) or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can create detailed images of the brain. Doctors use these images to identify areas of the brain which look abnormal.
Neurologic Exam: A neurologic exam, sometimes called a neuro exam, evaluates a person’s nervous system through a series of tests that can generally be performed in the doctor’s office. Lights and reflex hammers are commonly used during neurologic exams.
Biopsy: During a brain biopsy, brain tissue is removed to help identify whether cancerous cells are present or not.
Your doctor can answer any questions you may have about these tests.
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