May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month

Please join the AACR in supporting brain cancer research.
Brain Cancer Awareness Month

Each year more than 23,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with brain cancer and other nervous system cancers, according to federal statistics. These cancers make up a portion of the more than 87,000 brain tumors that will be diagnosed in this country in 2020. 

There are many types of brain and spinal cord tumors. The tumors are formed by the abnormal growth of cells and may be either benign or malignant. Benign brain and spinal cord tumors grow and press on nearby areas of the brain. They rarely spread into other tissues and may recur. 

Malignant brain and spinal cord tumors are likely to grow quickly and spread into other brain tissue. 

When a tumor grows into or presses on an area of the brain, it may stop that part of the brain from working the way it should. Both benign and malignant brain tumors produce signs and symptoms and need treatment.

Tumors that start in the brain are called primary brain tumors. Primary brain tumors may spread to other parts of the brain or to the spine, but rarely spread to other parts of the body. Often, tumors found in the brain have started somewhere else in the body and spread to one or more parts of the brain. These are called metastatic brain tumors.

Metastatic brain tumors are more common than primary brain tumors. About half of metastatic brain tumors are from lung cancer. 

May is Brain Cancer Awareness Month.

The National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program estimates that some 18,020 people in the U.S. will die from brain and other nervous system cancers in 2020.

What the AACR Is Currently Doing in This Area

The American Brain Tumor Association has graciously donated funds for the AACR-American Brain Tumor Association Scholar-in-Training Awards to support young investigators who presented high-quality abstracts in brain cancer research for both primary and secondary (metastatic) brain tumors at the AACR Annual Meeting 2019. These awards went to: 

  • Ahmed Elsehemy, PhD, University of Toronto, University Health Network
  • Kazutaka Fukumura, PhD, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Evan Noch, MD, PhD, Weill Cornell Medicine
  • Tadas K. Rimkus, Wake Forest University School of Medicine
  • Jack M. Shireman, Northwestern University
  • Shih-Ying Wu, PhD, Wake Forest Baptist Health