Brain Tumor Statistics

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Brain Tumors do not discriminate. Primary brain tumors - those that begin in the brain and tend to stay in the brain - occur in people of all ages, but they are statistically more frequent in children and older adults. Metastatic brain tumors - those that begin as a cancer elsewhere in the body and spread to the brain - are more common in adults than children.

The facts and statistics here include brain and central nervous system tumors (including spinal cord, pituitary and pineal gland tumors). We continually update these statistics, as they become available. This material was last updated in November 2014. We thank the Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS) for their assistance with that update. These numbers address incidence, trends and patterns in the United States only. For more information, please visit CBTRUS at www.cbtrus.org.

 

Brain tumors are the:

  • leading cause of cancer-related deaths in children (males and females) under age 20 (leukemia is the first).
  • second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in males ages 20-39 (leukemia is the first).
  • fifth leading cause of cancer-related deaths in females ages 20-39.

Brain Tumor Statistics:

  • Nearly 70,000 new cases of primary brain tumors will be diagnosed this year.
  • More than 4,600 children between the ages of 0-9 will be diagnosed with a brain tumor this year.
  • Brain and central nervous system tumors are the most common cancers among children ages 0-19.
  • There are nearly 700,000 people in the U.S. living with a brain tumor.
  • This year, nearly 14,000 people will lose their battle with a brain tumor.
  • There are more than 120 types of brain tumors.

 

Tumor-Specific Statistics:

  • Meningiomas represent 34% of all primary brain tumors, making them the most common primary brain tumor.
  • Gliomas, a broad term which includes all tumors arising from the gluey or supportive tissue of the brain, represent 30% of all brain tumors and 80% of all malignant tumors.
  • Glioblastomas represent 17% of all primary brain tumors, and 54% of all gliomas.
  • Astrocytomas represent 7% of all primary brain tumors.
  • Astrocytomas and glioblastomas combined represent 76% of all gliomas.
  • Nerve sheath tumors (such as acoustic neuromas) represent about 9% of all primary brain tumors.
  • Pituitary tumors represent 13% of all primary brain tumors.
  • Lymphomas represent 2% of all primary brain tumors.
  • Oligodendrogliomas represent 2% of all primary brain tumors.
  • Medulloblastomas/embryonal/primitive tumors represent 1% of all primary brain tumors.
  • The majority of primary tumors (34%) are located within the meninges, followed by those located within the frontal, temporal, parietal and occipital lobes of the brain (22%).