Central nervous system tumors

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with central nervous system (CNS) tumor, take a deep breath and know that we are here for you. In addition to providing you information, our highly skilled medical oncologists, radiation oncologists and compassionate staff will support you and your family every step of the way. Your journey begins by learning more about your condition.

The brain and spinal cord make up the central nervous system (CNS). CNS tumors are growths of abnormal cells in tissues of the brain or spinal cord. Tumors that start in the brain are called primary brain tumors. A tumor that starts in another part of the body and spreads to the brain is called a metastatic brain tumor.

Brain and spinal cord tumors may be either benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). Both benign and malignant tumors cause signs and symptoms and need treatment. Benign brain and spinal cord tumors grow and press on nearby areas of the brain but rarely spread into other parts of the brain. Malignant brain and spinal cord tumors are likely to grow quickly and spread into other parts of the brain.

There are many types of CNS tumors. They form in different cell types and different areas of the brain and spinal cord. The signs and symptoms of CNS tumors depend on where the tumor forms, its size, how fast it is growing, and the age of the patient.

Brain and spinal cord tumors can occur in both adults and children. The types of tumors that form and the way they are treated are different in children and adults.

The prognosis (chance of recovery) depends on many factors, including age, tumor size, tumor type, and where the tumor is in the CNS.

Learn more about the diagnosis and treatment options for brain and spine tumors.