Primary Brain Tumors

Primary Brain Tumors

Primary central nervous system (CNS) tumors begin in the brain or spinal cord.

There are more than 120 different types of primary brain and CNS tumors. The ABTA provides educational information for the most common primary brain and CNS tumors according to data collected by Central Brain Tumor Registry of the United States (CBTRUS).

Acoustic Neuroma

Acoustic neuroma (also called vestibular schwannoma) is a benign, slow-growing tumor of the nerve of hearing (the 8th cranial nerve, also known as the acoustic or vestibulocochlear nerve).

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Astrocytoma

Astrocytomas are tumors that arise from astrocytes—star-shaped cells that make up the “glue-like” or supportive tissue of the brain. These tumors are “graded” on a scale from I to IV based on how normal or

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Chondrosarcoma

Chondroma is a rare, benign tumor that tends to arise at the base of the skull, especially in the area near the pituitary gland. These tumors are generally very slow-growing and may be present for

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Choroid Plexus

These tumors arise from brain tissue called the “choroid plexus.” They commonly invade nearby tissue and spread widely via the cerebrospinal fluid. Like other brain tumors, choroid plexus tumors are also “graded.” Choroid plexus papilloma

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Craniopharyngioma

A craniopharyngioma is a benign (noncancerous) tumor arising from small nests of cells near the pituitary stalk. Crangiopharyngiomas are localized tumors and become large before they are diagnosed. How malignant they are and how quickly they

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Cysts

Brain cysts located in the brain are not truly “brain tumors” because they do not arise from the brain tissue itself. Although they tend to be (benign noncancerous), they are sometimes found in parts of

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Ependymoma

Ependymomas arise from the ependymal cells that line the ventricles of the brain and the center of the spinal cord. They are soft, grayish, or red tumors which may contain cysts or mineral calcifications. These tumors

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Germ Cell Tumor

As the name implies, these tumors arise from various “germ cells” found in the brain. They can be either benign or malignant. Germ cell tumors include the germinoma, the teratoma, the more aggressive embryonal carcinoma and

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Glioblastoma (GBM)

Glioblastomas (also called GBM) are malignant Grade IV tumors, where a large portion of tumor cells are reproducing and dividing at any given time. They are nourished by an ample and abnormal tumor vessel blood supply. The tumor is predominantly made up of abnormal astrocytic cells, but

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Glioma

“Glioma” is a general term used to describe any tumor that arises from the supportive (“gluey”) tissue of the brain. This tissue, called “glia,” helps to keep the neurons in place and functioning well. There

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Hemangioma

A hemangioma is an abnormal buildup of blood vessels in the skin or internal organs. Two types of hemangiomas are discussed here: Hemangioblastoma: These tumors are benign, slow-growing, and well defined. They arise from cells in

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Lipoma

Lipomas are rare, benign (noncancerous) tumors composed of fatty tissue. They are sometimes associated with other congenital abnormalities of the nervous system. Lipomas vary in size. Single or multiple tumors may be present.

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Lymphoma

Lymphoma is a cancer that arises from the cells of the lymphatic system. In the brain, this type of cancer is called Primary CNS Lymphoma (PCNSL).

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Medulloblastoma

Medulloblastoma is a fast-growing, high-grade tumor. It is the most common of the embryonal tumors—tumors that arise from “emybryonal” or “immature” cells at the earliest stage of their development. The various types of medulloblastoma include: classic

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Meningioma

Meningiomas are often benign tumors arising from the coverings of the brain and spinal cord. They represent about one-third of all primary brain tumors and occur most frequently in middle-aged women. Meningiomas usually grow inward, causing

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Neurofibroma

Neurofibromas are tumors of the nerve fibers. The term neurofibromatosis refers to two different genetic diseases characterized by skin abnormalities and nervous system tumors: Neurofibromatosis type 1: Also called NF-1 or Von Recklinghausen’s disease. Neurofibromatosis type

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Oligoastrocytoma

Oligoastrocytomas belong to a group of brain tumors called “gliomas.” Gliomas are tumors that come from the glial, or supportive, cells of the brain. There are several different types of gliomas. An oligoastrocytoma is a

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Oligodendroglioma

Oligodendrogliomas come from oligodendrocytes, one of the types of cells that make up the supportive, or glial, tissue of the brain. They can be low-grade (grade II) or high-grade (grade III, or anaplastic). Oligodendrogliomas are generally

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Pineal Tumors

These tumors originate from normal cells in the pineal gland. The pineal gland is located in the center of the brain and is involved in the secretion of specific hormones. Tumor types occurring in the

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Pituitary Tumors

The pituitary gland is involved in the production of several essential hormones. Tumors arising from the pituitary gland itself are called adenomas or carcinomas. Pituitary adenomas are benign, slow-growing masses that represent about 10% of primary

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PNET

PNET (primitive neuroectodermal tumor) is a name used for tumors which appear identical under the microscope to medulloblastoma, but occur primarily in the cerebrum. PNET is used by some to refer to tumors such as

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Educational
Videos

The ABTA YouTube Channel provides educational videos about tumor types, treatments, and support strategies for newly diagnosed, survivors and caregivers.