Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

A childhood brain or spinal cord tumor is a disease in which abnormal cells form in the tissues of the brain or spinal cord. There are many types of childhood brain and spinal cord tumors. The tumors may be benign or malignant.

Benign brain tumors grow and press on nearby areas of the brain. They rarely spread into other tissues. Malignant brain 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 require treatment.

Although cancer is rare in children, brain and spinal cord tumors are the third most common type of childhood cancer, after leukemia and lymphoma. It’s estimated that more than 4,000 cases of childhood brain or spinal cord tumors occur in the United States every year. Treatment of brain tumors in children is usually different from treatment for adults.

Childhood Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors Treatment Overview (PDQ®)

Source: National Cancer Institute