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Top Ten Facts About Brain Tumors

1. The most common brain tumors are cancers from other parts of the body (e.g. lung, breast, colon or prostate) that spreads to the brain.

2. Primary brain tumors originate in the brain and there are over 126 such tumors listed by WHO.


Glioma is the commonest primary brain tumour and originates from supporting brain cells that are called glial cells and 50% of all brain tumors begin as benign tumors.

4. Another brain tumour called ‘Astrocytomas’ are so named because their cells look like stars ; the word ‘astro’ in Latin means "star".

5. A primary brain tumour usually is restricted to brain and does not spread to other organs. If brain death occurs in these patients, it is possible to donate their organs.

6. In most instances the cause of brain tumor is not known and they do not discriminate among gender, class or ethnicity.

7. Each year approximately 200,000 people in the United States are diagnosed with metastatic or primary brain tumor.

8. Common symptoms of a brain tumor include headaches, seizures, personality changes, eye weakness, nausea or vomiting, speech disturbances, memory loss.

9. The survival from brain tumor at five years is approximately 30%.

10. Brain tumors can be treated by surgery, radiation therapy, stereotactic radiotherapy, chemotherapy or by using these in combination. The most important issue when treating these patients, besides trying to cure them, is to ensure that the quality of life is not compromised.

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worried-sister, United States

Hello, my brother that is 50 years old was recently diagnosed with a brain tumor. He was told that it was incurable, he is scheduled for surgery on Friday of this week to remove it. He will then go through Chemo and radiation but was told this will only help to prolong his life for a time. My mother died from brain cancer in July of 2008 but her tumors came from her breast cancer. I guess my question is, what is the usual life expectancy after a procedure like this. I know that no one can know for certain, but being that I will probably be his primary care giver other than my 72 year old father I am trying to prepare myself for what is ahead. Will he be in some sort of rehab? Will this Chemo make him extremely ill? I apologize that I don’t have the exact type of brain tumor that it is, I only know that he is terminal. Any answers you can give me would be helpful, or maybe some sort of direction as to where I may be able to find these answers would be helpful.


A brain tumor is an abnormal mass of tissue in which cells grow and multiply uncontrollably, seemingly unchecked by the mechanisms that control normal cells. Brain tumors can be primary or metastatic, and either malignant or benign.

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