Illinois University neurologist William Schaffer said the most important step in diagnosing brain tumors is imaging.
Schaffner, who is a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago and a director of the Brain Imaging Research Center, said scans of the brain are the most accurate way to determine if a tumor is malignant.
He said scans can also be used to detect brain cancers.
The brain scans are done by placing a needle into the skull and squeezing it until the nerve tissue is compressed, which allows doctors to identify tumors in more detail.
The needles are placed under a microscope.
Schiffner said scans also provide important clues about how the body functions.
He told the Chicago Tribune the needle-in-a-head-scratcher method can provide an accurate diagnosis.
Schuffner said he would like to see more use of the needle method to detect tumors.
He also said doctors should be able to see tumors more easily because of the increased blood flow to the brain.
Schillers study is not the first to suggest the brain scan is the best method to determine whether a tumor might be malignant, and a recent study in The New England Journal of Medicine suggested that the needle in the head-scratch method is more accurate than the needle test.