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Brain Tumor Facts

Each year more than 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor. Primary brain tumors comprise approximately 40,000 of these diagnoses.

Brain tumors are the leading cause of solid tumor cancer death in children under the age of 20, now surpassing acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). They are the second leading cause of cancer death in male adults ages 20-29 and the fifth leading cause of cancer death in female adults ages 20-39

Metastatic brain tumors, cancer that spreads from other parts of the body to the brain, are the most common types of brain tumors. They occur in 10-15% of people with cancer. Primary brain tumors generally do not metastasize to other parts of the body.

There are over 120 different types of brain tumors, which makes effective treatment complicated. They can be malignant or non-malignant (benign), and in either case, can be just as injurious or life threatening. At present, the standard treatments for brain tumors include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. These may be used either individually or in combination.

Brain tumors in children are different from those in adults, and consequently, are treated differently. As many as 69% of children will survive, but they are often left with long-term side effects.

There are currently no known causes of brain tumors, however, epidemiological studies are ongoing. Complete and accurate data on all primary brain tumors is needed to provide the Foundation for investigation of its causes and research leading to improved diagnosis and treatment.

Brain tumors have no socio-economic boundaries and do not discriminate among gender or ethnicity

Metastatic brain tumors have the greatest incidence rate, with breast, lung and melanoma being the most common cancers to metastisize to the brain.

Meningiomas are the most common type of primary brain tumors at 27.4%. The Glioma family of tumors account for 44.4% of all tumors, with Glioblastoma being the most common type of Glioma at 51.9% and Astrocytoma representing 21.6% of all Gliomas.

Please click here to access the Raise Your Voice Manual, a comprehensive guide, written by VABC with consultation from Dr. Steven Rosenfeld, for those recently diagnosed wtih brain cancer.