What are the key statistics about brain and spinal cord tumors in children?
Brain and spinal cord tumors are the second most common cancers in children (after leukemia). They account for about 1 out of 5 childhood cancers. More than 4,000 central nervous system tumors are diagnosed each year in children and teens. About one fourth of these are considered benign tumors. The incidence rate (number of tumors per 100,000 children) has not changed much in recent years.
Boys develop these tumors slightly more often than girls.
About 3 out of 4 children with brain tumors (all types combined) survive at least 5 years after being diagnosed. The outlook can vary a great deal based on the type of tumor, where it is located, and other factors. For survival information on some particular tumor types, see “Survival rates for selected brain and spinal cord tumors.”
Last Medical Review: 03/22/2013
Last Revised: 01/31/2014