What Are the Key Statistics About Brain and Spinal Cord Tumors?

The American Cancer Society’s estimates for brain and spinal cord tumors in the United States for 2017 include both adults and children.

  • About 23,800 malignant tumors of the brain or spinal cord (13,450 in males and 10,350 in females) will be diagnosed. These numbers would be much higher if benign tumors were also included.
  • About 16,700 people (9,620 males and 7,080 females) will die from brain and spinal cord tumors.

Overall, the chance that a person will develop a malignant tumor of the brain or spinal cord in his or her lifetime is less than 1% (about 1 in 140 for a man and 1 in 180 for a woman).

Survival rates for brain and spinal cord tumors vary widely, depending on the type of tumor. Survival rates for some of the more common types of brain and spinal cord tumors are discussed in the section  Survival rates for selected adult brain and spinal cord tumors.

Visit the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Statistics Center for more key statistics.

The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team
Our team is made up of doctors and master’s-prepared nurses with deep knowledge of cancer care as well as journalists, editors, and translators with extensive experience in medical writing.

Last Medical Review: March 5, 2014 Last Revised: January 5, 2017

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