Each year, >200,000 individuals in the United States are diagnosed with a primary or metastatic brain tumor. Primary brain tumors comprise approximately 40,000 of these diagnoses. Brain tumors are the leading cause of solid tumor death in patients aged <20 years, surpassing acute lymphoblastic leukemia. They are the second leading cause of cancer-related death in male adults aged 20 to 29 years and the fifth leading cause of cancer-related death in female adults aged 20 to 39 years.
The risk for a malignant tumor of the brain or spinal cord is <1% (approximately 1 in 140 for men and 1 in 180 for women). Combining statistics for adults and children, the American Cancer Society estimates that approximately 23,800 malignant central nervous system tumors will be diagnosed in 2017, including 13,450 in males and 10,350 in females. Brain and spinal cord tumors will be responsible for approximately 16,700 deaths (9620 in males and 7080 in females).1
In children, brain and spinal cord tumors are second only to leukemia as the most common form of cancer. More than 4000 central nervous system tumors are diagnosed each year in children and teenagers, representing 1 of 4 childhood cancers. Although prognosis differs significantly depending on factors such as tumor type and location, the 5-year survival rate for all types of childhood brain cancer combined is approximately 75%.2
According to the National Brain Tumor Society, >688,000 Americans are currently living with a primary brain tumor or central nervous system tumor diagnosis. Of these, an estimated 550,000 are benign tumors, and 138,000 are malignant. There are >120 different types of brain tumors.3
The National Brain Tumor Society collaborates with experts in research, public policy, and clinical care to advance the understanding of brain tumors. The organization also raises funds for research into new treatments, fights for legislation that will improve the lives of patients, and offers other important services to the community.4
Founded in 1973, the American Brain Tumor Association was the first national advocacy organization dedicated to providing funds for brain tumor research. Since 1976, >710 scientists have received approximately $30 million in grants to study the disease. The American Brain Tumor Association also provides numerous resources to support patients and caregivers.5
1. American Cancer Society. What are the key statistics about brain and spinal cord tumors? Updated January 5, 2017. www.cancer.org/cancer/brain-spinal-cord-tumors-adults/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed March 12, 2017.
2. American Cancer Society. What are the key statistics about brain and spinal cord tumors in children? Updated January 21, 2017. www.cancer.org/cancer/brain-spinal-cord-tumors-children/about/key-statistics.html. Accessed March 12, 2017.
3. National Brain Tumor Society. Quick brain tumor facts. http://braintumor.org/brain-tumor-information/brain-tumor-facts/. Accessed March 12, 2017.
4. National Brain Tumor Society. About us. http://braintumor.org/about-us/. Accessed July 5, 2017.
5. American Brain Tumor Association. About us. www.abta.org/about-us/. Accessed March 12, 2017.