Actress Mary Tyler Moore's Brain Surgery Sheds Light on the Detection and Diagnosis of Brain Tumors

May 17, 2011, 08:05 ET from College of American Pathologists

Pathologist available to discuss warning signs and how brain tumors are diagnosed

NORTHFIELD, Ill., May 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by College of American Pathologists:

WHAT:  Mary Tyler Moore, the actress best known for her roles on "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and the "Mary Tyler Moore Show" was recently diagnosed with a meningioma brain tumor.  Meningiomas account for more than 25 percent of primary brain tumors.  Usually, most meningiomas are non-cancerous, however, some can develop into malignant tumors.  Knowing the warning signs of a brain tumor and receiving an accurate diagnosis are key to surviving this type of illness.

Pathologists are doctors who examine tissues, cells, and body fluids to diagnose illnesses, including meningiomas, as well as malignant brain tumors. A biopsy of the tumor will be examined under a microscope by a surgical pathologist or in many cases, a neuropathologist, to determine the type of tumor and assign a grade.  

When a pathologist examines the tissue of the biopsy, two questions are asked:

  • What type of brain cell did the tumor arise from?
  • Do the tumor cells demonstrate features that indicate a higher risk for the tumor to reoccur or spread?

The answers to these questions will help to determine the patient's treatment.

WHO:  Brian E. Moore, MD, FCAP, a neuropathologist with Memorial Medical Center in Springfield, Ill., can offer the pathologist's perspective.

WHY:  Dr. Moore is available to explain warning signs, how the pathologist makes the diagnosis and how, together with the primary care physician, the next steps are determined.  He also can share information about, a free website developed by the College of American Pathologists to help individuals diagnosed with cancer and their loved ones better understand their illness.

The College of American Pathologists is a medical society that serves more than 17,000 physician members and the laboratory community throughout the world.  It is the world's largest association composed exclusively of board-certified pathologists and is widely considered the leader in laboratory quality assurance.  The College is an advocate for high-quality and cost-effective patient care.

SOURCE College of American Pathologists