Moffitt Cancer Center’s Neuro-Oncology Program has a multispecialty team of physicians, all of whom focus exclusively on the evaluation, treatment and diagnosis of brain cancer. Among those specialists are highly experienced neurologists, which are clinicians who specialize in treating diseases of the nervous system (which includes the brain and spinal cord).
What does a neurologist do?
A primary care physician who might be concerned about his or her patient’s symptoms will refer the patient to a specialist for further testing. In the case of a neurologist, a patient who is experiencing frequent headaches, dizziness, numbness or tingling, seizures, vision problems, memory problems or speech difficulties will be referred to a neurologist for a neurological exam and additional testing.
At Moffitt, our neurology specialists, Dr. Edwin Peguero and Dr. Jennifer Bickel, utilize a wide range of testing procedures to confirm or rule out the presence of a brain tumor, starting with a physical exam that includes discussing the patient’s medical history. Then, a neurological exam will be completed to check the functions of the brain and central nervous system. This exam tests the patient’s reflexes, vision, coordination and balance.
If the neurologist is concerned about the results these exams, he or she will order further testing. This may include:
- Imaging tests. The neurologist may recommend an MRI, X-ray, PET scan, CT scan or EEG.
- Biopsies. Neurosurgical biopsies or liquid molecular biopsies from blood or cerebrospinal fluid can confirm a brain tumor diagnosis.
- Genetic testing. Next-generation sequencing tests examine samples of cancerous tissue to learn about the genetic makeup of the tumor cells.
If a brain tumor is the confirmed diagnosis, the patient will then be referred to a medical oncologist for treatment. At Moffitt, our neurologists and medical oncologists collaborate to develop comprehensive treatment plans, alongside many other specialists. These clinicians meet for regular tumor board meetings to discuss their patients’ cases and coordinate care.
Medically reviewed by Edwin Peguero, MD, Neuro-Oncology Program
Consult with a neurologist at Moffitt Cancer Center
If you are concerned about some of the symptoms you are experiencing and would like to receive a diagnosis from an experienced neurology specialist at Moffitt Cancer Center, call us at 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.