Cancer Types | Brain Cancer - National Foundation for Cancer Research

Brain Cancer

Brain Cancer

People of all ages are diagnosed with brain cancer, but there is more frequency among children and older adults. Brain cancer is the second most commonly diagnosed cancer in children (after leukemia).

Key Facts

  • Of the nearly 84,000 brain tumors diagnosed in the U.S. each year, approximately 29.7% are considered malignant – or cancerous.
  • An estimated  24,530 malignant tumors of the brain and spinal cord will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2021, with around 18,600 deaths expected to result from the diagnosis. 
  • Overall, the chance that a person will develop a malignant tumor of the brain or spinal cord in his or her lifetime is less than 1% (about 1 in 143 for men and 1 in 185 for women).
  • Survival rates vary widely depending on the type of tumor.
  • Glioblastoma (GBM) is the deadliest type of brain cancer, accounting for  48.6% of all malignant brain tumors and the five-year average survival rate is only 7.2% or less.
Source: American Cancer Society’s Cancer Facts & Figures 2021 and American Brain Tumor Association’s Brain Tumor Statistics

Signs and Symptoms

A symptom is a change in the body that a person can see and/or feel. A sign is a change that the doctor sees during an examination or on a laboratory test result. If you have any of the symptoms below, it does not mean you have cancer but you should see your doctor or health care professional so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

  • Headaches
  • Seizures
  • Difficulty thinking and/or speaking
  • Changes in personality
  • Loss of balance
  • Change in vision including blurriness, double vision, abnormal eye movements, light sensitivity and loss of vision
  • Memory loss
  • Disorientation
  • Fatigue and muscle weakness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Tingling or stiffness on one side of the body
Source: National Brain Tumor Society 2021
Silver Brain Cancer Ribbon
24530
will be diagnosed in 2021
18600
deaths expected in 2021
1
% lifetime risk of brain cancer
Silver Brain Cancer Ribbon

Brain Cancer Awareness Month is recognized in May. To help accelerate cures please make a gift today.

Researchers Working on Brain Cancer

Dr. Rakesh Jain
Dr. Rakesh Jain
Paul Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D.
Paul Fisher, M.Ph., Ph.D.
Dr. Web Cavenee
Web Cavenee, Ph.D.
Cesare Spadoni, Ph.D.
Cesare Spadoni, Ph.D.
W. K. Alfred Yung, M.D.
W. K. Alfred Yung, M.D.

Related Updates

NFCR In the News: Addressing Deadly Brain Cancer, GBM

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