Brain Cancer

Definition of brain tumor: The growth of abnormal cells in the tissues of the brain. Brain tumors can be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer).

Estimated new cases of brain and other nervous system cancers in the United States in 2016: 23,770

Incidence rates are higher for whites than for people of other racial/ethnic groups. In all racial/ethnic groups, men have higher incidence rates than women.

The causes of most brain and CNS cancers are not known. However, factors that may increase the risk of developing certain types of brain tumors include exposure to radiation, exposure to vinyl chloride, and having certain genetic syndromes. There are no screening tests for brain and CNS cancers. Standard treatments for adult brain cancer include watchful waiting, surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Newer treatments for adult brain cancer, such asbiological therapy and proton beam radiation therapy are being studied in clinical trials.

There is no standard staging system for adult brain and spinal cord tumors.

The extent or spread of cancer is usually described as stages. There is no standard staging systemfor brain and spinal cord tumors. Brain tumors that begin in the brain may spread to other parts of the brain and spinal cord, but they rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Treatment of brain and spinal cord tumors is based the following:

  • The type of cell in which the tumor began.
  • Where the tumor formed in the brain or spinal cord.
  • The amount of cancer left after surgery.
  • The grade of the tumor.

Treatment of brain tumors that have spread to the brain from other parts of the body is based on the number of tumors in the brain.


All information was taken from the NCI (National Cancer Institute)

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