There are several ways in which a meningioma diagnosis can be made. For instance, a diagnosis can be incidental (discovered as an unexpected finding during a test or procedure performed for another reason), or it can be made after a physician evaluates a patient’s symptoms and concludes that a brain tumor might be present.
In the case of an incidental meningioma diagnosis, the condition is found when a physician orders a CT scan or MRI for an unrelated purpose, such as to evaluate a patient after a seizure or head trauma. In these situations, it is most common for a physician to unexpectedly find a convexity meningioma (as compared to rarer variants, such as an optic nerve meningioma). The reason is that convexity meningiomas often go undetected is because they develop without causing specific, recognizable symptoms.
CT scans and MRIs are not the only tests that are used to diagnose meningioma. Other procedures that can help confirm (or rule out) a meningioma diagnosis include:
- Cerebral angiograms, which allow physicians to see detailed images of blood vessels located near the brain and spinal cord
- Neurological function tests, which help physicians determine which sensory systems or parts of the brain are affected by a tumor
- Positron emission tomography (PET) scans, which help physicians check for signs of metastasis (although these tumors rarely to spread to other parts of the body)
- Biopsies and tissue tests, which can confirm a meningioma diagnosis by identifying signs of cancer in a tissue sample removed from a suspicious growth
If you’d like to consult with one of the oncologists of Moffitt’s Neuro-Oncology Program regarding a potential meningioma diagnosis, you can do so with or without a referral. We can also provide a second opinion if you’ve already been diagnosed with meningioma and would prefer to have another evaluation before beginning treatment. To schedule an appointment, call 1-888-MOFFITT or submit a new patient registration form online.