Magnetic Resonance Imaging‐Based Screening for Asymptomatic Brain Tumors: A Review

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AbstractBrain tumors comprise 2% of all cancers but are disproportionately responsible for cancer‐related deaths. The 5‐year survival rate of glioblastoma, the most common form of malignant brain tumor, is only 4.7%, and the overall 5‐year survival rate for any brain tumor is 34.4%. In light of the generally poor clinical outcomes associated with these malignancies, there has been interest in the concept of brain tumor screening through magnetic resonance imaging. Here, we will provide a general overview of the screening principles and brain tumor epidemiology, then highlight the major studies examining brain tumor prevalence in asymptomatic populations in order to assess the potential benefits and drawbacks of screening for brain tumors.Implications for Practice.Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) screening in healthy asymptomatic adults can detect both early gliomas and other benign central nervous system abnormalities. Further research is needed to determine whether MRI will improve overall morbidity and mortality for the screened populations and make screening a worthwhile endeavor.

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