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Top 10 Types of Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors

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Brain cancer is a very serious cancer diagnosis that no one wants to hear. While there are hundreds of brain and spinal cord tumors, some occur more frequently than others.

According to the BC Cancer Agency, the ten brain cancers below are the most common. However, if you want to learn more about the other types of brain and spinal cord tumors, check out the American Brain Tumor Association's primer.

1. Low Grade Astrocytoma

Low grade astrocytoma is a type of glioma; gliomas are the most common types of primary brain cancer—45 percent of all primary brain cancers. The low grade astrocytomas are 54 percent of gliomas, and are not as aggressive as other forms of brain cancers. Many patients survive ten years or more after diagnosis, though the average survival rate is five to six years.

2. High Grade Astrocytoma

High grade astrocytomas are the most malignant form of astrocytoma. 50 percent of high grade astrocytoma patients survive 12 months after surgery. Out of all gliomas, high grade astrocytomas account for more than 25 percent.

3. Astrocytoma

Astrocytomas in between low grade and high grade account for ten percent of gliomas. Astrocytoma gets its name from the cells it forms on—astrocytes, a type of glial cell.

4. Ependymoma

Ependymoma accounts for six percent of gliomas and 60 percent of spinal cord tumors. Ependymoma forms along the lining of the ventricles in the brain, though it occurs most often in the fourth ventricle. The BC Cancer Agency points out that patients with ependymoma survive for a while after diagnosis.

5. Oligodendrocytoma

Another type of glioma, oligodendrocytomas have a five percent prevalence. Oligodendrocytomas form on the white matter of the cerebral hemisphere of the brain, and symptoms are similar to low grade astrocytoma's symptoms.

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EmpowHER Guest

Gliomas are the most common types of primary tumors which start in the glial cells of the brain. The various types of gliomas are brain stem glioma and astrocytoma. The other types of tumors of the brain that don’t originate in the glial cells are meningioma, medulloblastoma, schwannoma, and germ cell tumor.
Types of Brain Cancer

February 25, 2011 - 5:40am
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