Brain Cancer

Facts About Brain Cancer

  • The American Cancer Society estimates that 22,850 adults and 4,000 children in the United States will be diagnosed with malignant tumors of the brain and spinal cord in 2015.
  • About 15,320 adults will die from brain and spinal cord tumors in 2015.
  • The chance that a person will develop a malignant tumor of the brain or spinal cord in his or her lifetime is about 1 in 140 for a man and 1 in 180 for a woman.
  • Survival rates for malignant brain and spinal cord tumors vary widely based on the type of tumor and stage at which it is diagnosed. Roughly 3 out of 4 children with brain tumors will survive for at least five years after diagnosis.

Treating Brain Cancer

The preferred treatment for brain cancer depends on many factors, including the type of tumor, its stage and location, and the patient’s overall health.

Because treatment plans can be complicated, it is advisable to consult and involve a number of physicians, including a neurologist, a doctor who diagnoses and treats conditions of the central nervous system (CNS); a neurosurgeon, a surgeon specializing in procedures involving the brain, spinal cord, and other components of the CNS; a radiation oncologist, a doctor who uses radiation to treat cancer; a medical oncologist, a physician who treats cancer with chemotherapy and other types of medication; and potentially – depending on the type of tumor – an endocrinologist, a doctor who treats diseases of the glands that produce and release hormones.

Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and other approaches. These treatments often are used in combination with one another, with the timing and mix of therapies based on your specific circumstances.

For More Information

Visit the National Cancer Institute