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).
- 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.
- 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
- Fatigue and muscle weakness
- Muscle weakness
- Tingling or stiffness on one side of the body