Important facts of Brain Cancer

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Brain cancer | pathology |

About a third of patients with malignant brain tumors survive for at least five years after their diagnosis, the NCI says. One particularly aggressive form of brain cancer is glioblastoma. Only about 6 percent of people with glioblastoma ages 45 to 54, and 4 percent of those ages 55 to 64, survive for at least five years after their diagnosis, according to the American Cancer Society. But other types of brain tumors have better prognoses. More than 90 percent of people ages 20 to 44 who are diagnosed with a benign type of brain tumor called a meningioma , and 77 percent of those ages 45 to 54 who are diagnosed with this type of tumor, survive for at least five years.

One of the mysteries of brain cancer is what causes the disease. Most people with brain cancer don't have any known risk factors for the disease, according to the NCI. But there are a few factors known to increase the risk of brain cancer. One factor is exposure to a type of radiation called ionizing radiation, which is used to treat certain cancers, although the development of brain cancers from this type of radiation is rare, according to the ACS.

Ionizing radiation is also released during nuclear explosions. In rare cases, brain cancers can run in families, meaning a genetic mutation is linked with the cancer. Brain tumors can occur in both children and adults.

Brain Cancer and Quality of Life

Such tumors are the second most common form of cancer in childhood, after leukemia, according to The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. In adults, meningiomas and gliomas the latter of which form from a type of brain cell called glial cells are the most common brain tumors in adults, according to the National Institutes of Health. Headaches that get worse over time are a common symptom of brain tumors.

The information and content provided on this website is made available for informational purposes only for children and their families affected by cancer. While the Children's Oncology Group strives to provide accurate and up-to-date information, the information may be out of date or incomplete in certain respects. Please do not rely on this information and seek the care of a qualified medical professional if you have questions regarding a specific medical condition, disease, diagnosis or symptom.

The information and content presented herein is not intended to replace the independent clinical judgement, medical advice, screening, health counseling, or other intervention performed by your or your child's health care provider. Please contact "" or your emergency services if this is a health emergency. No endorsement of any specific tests, products, or procedures is made herein.

Brain cancer

What is Cancer? Non-malignant means the same thing as benign. A prognosis is a prediction about the future course of the disease and the likelihood of recovery. Prognosis is based upon many factors, including the type of tumor, its location and grade, the length of time your child has exhibited symptoms, the speed of growth, and treatment options.


The process of discovering that your child has a brain tumor is overwhelming and emotional. Not everyone responds the way you think they will. I was surprised and troubled by the way my siblings responded, and needed to learn how to handle that. When a child has a brain tumor, it affects the entire family.

Emotions can be raw. Stress and anxiety levels rise. Here you will find information on family communication, managing stress, and getting support. More information on handling family impact.