Brain Tumors

There are many types of brain and spinal cord tumors. These tumors 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 come back.
  • Malignant or cancerous 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 cause signs and symptoms and need treatment.

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

The National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program estimates that in the United States 24,530 cases of brain and other nervous system cancers will be diagnosed and about 18,600 people will die of these forms of cancer in 2021. There are few known risk factors for brain tumors.

Adult Central Nervous System Tumors Treatment (PDQ®)

Source: National Cancer Institute