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The most accurate brain tumor diagnosis is through a surgical biopsy. If a brain tumor is suspected, our neurosurgeons remove a small sample of the brain tumor tissue. The tissue is examined by our pathologists to study the sample under a microscope to determine the grade of the tumor.

There are four grades of brain tumors:

  1. Grade one is a tumor that grows slowly, rarely spreads into nearby tissues and does not spread to other parts of the body. Grade I tumors are often removed entirely by surgery.
  2. Grade two tumors also grow slowly, but may spread into surrounding tissues and become a higher-grade tumor.
  3. Grade three tumors grow quickly and are likely to invade nearby tissues.
  4. Grade four tumors are the most severe. They grow very aggressively and are the most challenging to treat.

In some cases, patients come to Moffitt with a brain tumor diagnosis already made by another medical team and are seeking treatment or a second opinion. In that case, our neuro-oncology team reviews all diagnostic reports and maps a personalized treatment plan that is unique to each patient. In all cases, the chance of recovery and the treatment options depend upon the type, grade and location of the tumor and whether cells have spread to other parts of the brain. As a world-class research and treatment facility, Moffitt’s brain tumor specialists have some of the country’s most advanced equipment, treatment options and clinical trials to battle brain cancer.


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