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Can doctors diagnose a tumor in the brain without biopsy?

Anything relating to brain tumors symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis

Can doctors diagnose a tumor in the brain without biopsy?

Postby drych » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:22 pm

A friend of mine said the doctors diagnosed him with a brain tumor the size of a golf ball in his brain.
He also said that the doctors are going to go ahead and start with chemo pills so he won't have to be in a hospital all the time and they gave him a 5-9 year life span.
Now, in my research, I have learned that docs usually biopsy it first then proceed with treatment based on the results (benign, remove it, cancerous, treat it). He doesn't/can't answer all of our questions and won't let anyone go to the appointments with him.
He said the tumor is located in the back of his head and if he proceeds with surgery the survival rate is 50/50..... What do y'all think?
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Can doctors diagnose a tumor in the brain without biopsy?

Postby parfait » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Yes all they need is a cat scan. He will make it through surgery. But remember cures are for the rich.
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Can doctors diagnose a tumor in the brain without biopsy?

Postby barnes » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:33 pm

A doctor weighs the risk/cost of diagnostic testing with the benefits of what might be learned from the test results.

If the tumor is in a sensitive area or has been growing, a biopsy may present more risk than the information from it is worth. In this case, it sounds like the doctor is treating the tumor as if it were malignant. The "benign, remove it, cancerous, treat it" thing is just broad brush you are painting with. The way benign tumors are dealt with are based on location and symptoms. Malignant tumors are approached more cautiously or aggressively depending on several factors. There is no one size fits all approach to oncology. As with the biopsy, a surgical excision of the tumor may present more risk than benefit.

Practicing medicine is a lot more complicated than the internet makes it sound. Each case has to be evaluated individually. In the case of your friend, it sounds like he really just wants his privacy about this. Rather than trying to figure out his medical case, you might want to just be there for him emotionally.

When a doctor gives you "this many" years to live, they are just taking an educated guess based on past outcomes of similar patients. He may not make it nearly that long, or he may make it much longer. The important thing isn't the quantity of life he has left, but the quality.
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Can doctors diagnose a tumor in the brain without biopsy?

Postby aviah » Tue Jul 23, 2013 10:37 pm

I'm sorry, it seems to be a lie. It starts with a cat scan. It proceeds to an mri to confirm. He would get surgery to remove the small tumor. My option was biopsy first or remove tumor first, then biopsy. Chemo does NOT keep you in hospital. It's pills you go to the pharmacy and pick up. He would be given radiation with chemo for 6 weeks. Have a month off and start on high chemo for 6 months. Radiation will cause complete hair loss where the beams pass through your skull. There would be no hiding it and if had a seizure like normal people with a brain tumor do, then he loses his driver's license for 6 months, longer if he has another seizure.

fyi, even a benign tumor usually is treated with radiation. Because there really is NO such thing as a benign brain tumor.
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